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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).
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 transcribing
  • Scribes in charge of transcribing-and sometimes translating this information-had different styles and different handwritings.
  • The earliest records of its existence are worth transcribing.
  • In your own home, transcribing tapes of doctors' notes.
  • Woods said she was transcribing the tape when she took a phone call and left her foot on a pedal that may have caused the erasure.
  • By correctly transcribing it, you have proved to the computer that you are a human being.
  • His work, transcribing and transmitting telegrams, impaired his eyesight.
  • Time spent in transcribing taped recordings or in reporting lectures, etc, will not be considered.
  • If transcribing an interview, check the spelling of unfamiliar terms and place names.
  • Courses in mathematics and music transcribing, as well as literary and mathematics proofreading, were later added.
  • Skill in interpreting and transcribing from voice recordings.
British Dictionary definitions for transcribing


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 transcribing



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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