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[trans-lit-uh-reyt, tranz-] /trænsˈlɪt əˌreɪt, trænz-/
verb (used with object), transliterated, transliterating.
to change (letters, words, etc.) into corresponding characters of another alphabet or language:
to transliterate the Greek Χ as ch.
Origin of transliterate
1860-65; trans- + Latin līter(a) letter1 + -ate1
Related forms
transliteration, noun
transliterator, noun
Can be confused
translate, transliterate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for transliterate


(transitive) to transcribe (a word, etc, in one alphabet) into corresponding letters of another alphabet: the Greek word λογοσ can be transliterated as ``logos''
Derived Forms
transliteration, noun
transliterator, noun
Word Origin
C19: trans- + -literate, from Latin lītteraletter
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 transliterate

"to write a word in the characters of another alphabet," 1861, apparently coined by German philologist Max Müller (1823-1900), from trans- "across" (see trans-) + Latin littera (also litera) "letter, character" (see letter).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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