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anagram

[an-uh-gram] /ˈæn əˌgræm/
noun
1.
a word, phrase, or sentence formed from another by rearranging its letters: “Angel” is an anagram of “glean.”.
2.
anagrams, (used with a singular verb) a game in which the players build words by transposing and, often, adding letters.
verb (used with object), anagrammed, anagramming.
3.
to form (the letters of a text) into a secret message by rearranging them.
4.
to rearrange (the letters of a text) so as to discover a secret message.
Origin
1580-1590
1580-90; probably < Middle French anagramme < Neo-Latin anagramma. See ana-, -gram1
Related forms
anagrammatic
[an-uh-gruh-mat-ik] /ˌæn ə grəˈmæt ɪk/ (Show IPA),
anagrammatical, adjective
anagrammatically, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for anagrams
  • anagrams have come to plague the author's existence.
  • anagrams were once thought to possess mystical powers, the ability to divine hidden secrets.
  • anagrams are created when you rearrange the letters of a word or group of words to created new words.
  • Afterward, both groups were given tricky anagrams to solve.
  • Here are puns and persiflage, anagrams and homonyms, all fair game for the amateur sleuth.
  • It doesn't serve dishes that are merely anagrams of what's available a block or two in any direction.
  • Try crossword puzzles, word games, anagrams and cryptograms de- signed especially for children.
  • Crossword puzzles, anagrams, and cryptograms for children can be found in newspapers or inexpensive booklets.
British Dictionary definitions for anagrams

anagram

/ˈænəˌɡræm/
noun
1.
a word or phrase the letters of which can be rearranged into another word or phrase
Derived Forms
anagrammatic (ˌænəɡrəˈmætɪk), anagrammatical, adjective
anagrammatically, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from New Latin anagramma, shortened from Greek anagrammatismos, from anagrammatizein to transpose letters, from ana- + gramma a letter
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for anagrams

anagram

n.

transposition of letters in a word so as to form another, 1580s, from French anagramme or Modern Latin anagramma (16c.), both from Greek anagrammatizein "transpose letters," from ana- "up, back" (see ana-) + gramma (genitive grammatos) "letter" (see grammar). Related: Anagrammatical; anagrammatically.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for anagrams

anagram

the transposing of the letters of a word or group of words to produce other words that possess meaning, preferably bearing some logical relation to the original. The construction of anagrams is of great antiquity. Their invention is often ascribed without authority to the Jews, probably because the later Hebrew writers, particularly the Kabbalists, were fond of them, asserting that "secret mysteries are woven in the numbers of letters." Anagrams were known to the Greeks and Romans, although known Latin examples of words of more than one syllable are nearly all imperfect. They were popular throughout Europe during the Middle Ages and later, particularly in France, where a certain Thomas Billon was appointed "anagrammatist to the king."

Learn more about anagram with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Word Value for anagrams

11
14
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