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[dee-kohd] /diˈkoʊd/
verb (used with object), decoded, decoding.
to translate (data or a message) from a code into the original language or form.
to extract meaning from (spoken or written symbols).
Television. to unscramble (an electronic signal) so as to provide a video picture for cable subscribers.
verb (used without object), decoded, decoding.
to work at decoding.
Origin of decode
1895-1900; de- + code Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for decode
  • The problem was no devices existed to see and decode the neural maze in live subjects.
  • Since each nucleotide has a different shape, the result can be used to decode their order.
  • So researchers have been racing to decode the tree's genome in hopes of finding ways to genetically dial up resistance.
  • Poe liked ciphers because he liked to send messages that readers lacking his particular genius could not decode.
  • To decode the message, all you had to do was hold it up to a mirror.
  • Last month, two companies announced plans to decode the genomes of individual human beings.
  • The results of a search could be sent to the data's owner, who could decode it on his own system.
  • The first human genome took fifteen years to decode and cost about a billion dollars.
  • But, in his failure to decode her, he seemed generally oblivious to her.
  • Further research would be needed to decode more complex movements.
British Dictionary definitions for decode


to convert (a message, text, etc) from code into ordinary language
(computing) to convert (coded characters) from one form to another, as from binary-coded decimals to decimal numbers Compare encode (sense 2)
(electronics) to convert (a coded electrical signal) into normal analogue components
to analyse and understand the construction of words and phrases, esp in a foreign language
Derived Forms
decoder, 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 decode

1896, from de- + code. Related: Decoded; decoding.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for decode



Explain: Hans, will you please decode that? (1950s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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decode in Technology

To apply decryption.

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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