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[tran-skrahyb] /trænˈskraɪb/
verb (used with object), transcribed, transcribing.
to make a written copy, especially a typewritten copy, of (dictated material, notes taken during a lecture, or other spoken material).
to make an exact copy of (a document, text, etc.).
to write out in another language or alphabet; translate or transliterate:
to transcribe Chinese into English characters.
Phonetics. to represent (speech sounds) in written phonetic or phonemic symbols.
Radio. to make a recording of (a program, announcement, etc.) for broadcasting.
Music. to arrange (a composition) for a medium other than that for which it was originally written.
Genetics. to effect genetic transcription of (a DNA molecule template).
Origin of transcribe
1545-55; < Latin trānscrībere to copy off, equivalent to trāns- trans- + scrībere to write. See scribe
Related forms
transcriber, noun
mistranscribe, verb (used with object), mistranscribed, mistranscribing.
nontranscribing, adjective
pretranscribe, verb (used with object), pretranscribed, pretranscribing.
retranscribe, verb (used with object), retranscribed, retranscribing.
untranscribed, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for transcribe
  • There are many people out of work, perhaps you can hire one of them to transcribe the videos for you.
  • Well, the idea is not to record the audio of the presentation so that later you can transcribe what was said.
  • Individual systems can play chess or transcribe speech, but a general theory of machine intelligence remains elusive.
  • Knight does not invent creatures of pure fantasy or transcribe his nightmares.
  • Our conversation was via phone, so the quotes below are paraphrased as best as my distracted brain could transcribe them.
  • The live mike also turns off easily, so the computer doesn't accidentally transcribe what you say to a nearby friend.
  • If you can, transcribe an episode and follow that format.
  • They transcribe your utterance and e-mail it to you.
  • We transcribe these interviews and identify concepts that might explain fishers' use of conservation technology.
  • Mediums who transcribe their conversations with the dead.
British Dictionary definitions for transcribe


verb (transitive)
to write, type, or print out fully from speech, notes, etc
to make a phonetic transcription of
to transliterate or translate
to make an electrical recording of (a programme or speech) for a later broadcast
(music) to rewrite (a piece of music) for an instrument or medium other than that originally intended; arrange
  1. to transfer (information) from one storage device, such as punched cards, to another, such as magnetic tape
  2. to transfer (information) from a computer to an external storage device
(usually passive) (biochem) to convert the genetic information in (a strand of DNA) into a strand of RNA, esp messenger RNA See also genetic code, translate (sense 6)
Derived Forms
transcribable, adjective
transcriber, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin transcrībere, from trans- + scrībere to write
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 transcribe

1550s, from Latin transcribere "to copy, write again in another place, write over, transfer," from trans- "over" (see trans-) + scribere "write" (see script (n.)). To do it poorly is to transcribble (1746). Related: Transcribed; transcribing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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