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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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Examples from the web for transliteration
  • There is no standard list of transliteration schemes available, although one may be developed.
  • transliteration: systematic conversion of text from one script to another.
  • In transliteration, however, these are easily confused.
  • In transliteration the symbols of one language are represented by symbols in another.
British Dictionary definitions for transliteration


(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
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Word Origin and History for transliteration

1861, from trans- + literation.



"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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