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decipher

[dih-sahy-fer] /dɪˈsaɪ fər/
verb (used with object)
1.
to make out the meaning of (poor or partially obliterated writing, etc.):
to decipher a hastily scribbled note.
2.
to discover the meaning of (anything obscure or difficult to trace or understand):
to decipher hieroglyphics.
3.
to interpret by the use of a key, as something written in cipher:
to decipher a secret message.
4.
Obsolete. to depict; portray.
Origin
1520-1530
1520-30; translation of Middle French déchiffrer. See de-, cipher
Related forms
decipherable, adjective
decipherability, noun
decipherer, noun
decipherment, noun
undecipherable, adjective
undecipherably, adverb
undeciphered, adjective
Synonyms
2. comprehend, solve, unravel, explain.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for decipherable
  • Even when it is big enough to be decipherable, it usually carries little meaning.
  • He seemed so closed off, so contained and decipherable in his retirement.
  • He left behind him reams of unpublished and barely decipherable manuscripts of his lecture courses, seminars, and conferences.
  • Paintings in part decipherable, but mostly unspeakable.
  • Only the complete and decipherable information will be indexed, and reflected in the acknowledgment letter.
  • Information encoded by one vendor likely will not be decipherable by another vendor's device or encoding software.
  • Descriptors should be intuitive and rapidly decipherable.
  • By conducting the above scale up or down operations, trend deviation and pattern development are more decipherable.
  • In some cases, the letters were readily decipherable as related to a specific part of the case.
  • Jacobs continued talking but it was not decipherable as he was away from a microphone.
British Dictionary definitions for decipherable

decipher

/dɪˈsaɪfə/
verb (transitive)
1.
to determine the meaning of (something obscure or illegible)
2.
to convert from code into plain text; decode
Derived Forms
decipherable, adjective
decipherability, noun
decipherer, noun
decipherment, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for decipherable

decipher

v.

1520s, from de- + cipher. Perhaps in part a loan-translation from Middle French déchiffrer. Related: Deciphered; deciphering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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22
25
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