Definition of translate in English:

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Pronunciation: /transˈlāt/
Pronunciation: /tranzˈlāt/


[with object]
1Express the sense of (words or text) in another language: the German original has been translated into English
More example sentences
  • The best thing about that text is that it translates the word ‘pop’ as ‘explosion sound.’
  • Sign language is visual, and isn't always translated word for word into English.
  • Its big guffaw moments include an old lady macing a couple of cops and a sign language interpreter translating four-letter words.
render, put, express, convert, change;
transcribe, transliterate
1.1 [no object] Be expressed or be capable of being expressed in another language: shiatsu literally translates as “finger pressure.”
More example sentences
  • In addition, many idioms and expressions mean something very different when translated literally into another language.
  • William wrote, in Latin, Pluralitas non est ponenda sine neccesitate, which translates literally into English as ‘Plurality should not be posited without necessity’.
  • A classic example of a thirst-quenching summer beer is the German beer known as hefeweizen, which literally translates to ‘yeast wheat beer.’
1.2 (translate something into/translate into) Convert or be converted into (another form or medium): [with object]: few of Shakespeare’s other works have been translated into ballets
More example sentences
  • Not only is he one of the best preachers in the world, he has the ability to translate his message into other mediums, including books, music, and drama.
  • I wondered if it would be possible to translate those elements into a time-based medium such as video.
  • The second part happens in the artist's hands, as the idea is translated into a specific medium that other people can appreciate.
render, paraphrase, reword, rephrase, convert, decipher, decode, gloss, explain
adapt, change, convert, transform, alter, turn, transmute
informal transmogrify, morph
2Move from one place or condition to another: she had been translated from familiar surroundings to a foreign court
2.1 formal Move (a bishop) to another see or pastoral charge.
Example sentences
  • He was made bishop of Dunkeld in 1544 and three years later, after the murder of Cardinal Beaton, was translated to the archbishopric of St Andrews and primacy.
2.2 formal Remove (a saint’s relics) to another place.
Example sentences
  • Relics were increasingly translated, or transported into, churches from sites of martyrdom, and as the basis for Christian burial ad sanctos.
  • The relics and ex voto gifts accumulated since the ninth century when the relics were translated from the administrative town of Agen are now stored in a nearby building.
  • His relics were translated c. 849, to Dunkeld in Pictland, and to Kells.
2.3 literary Convey (someone, typically still alive) to heaven.
Example sentences
  • If the Form Critics are right, the disciples must have been translated to heaven immediately after the Resurrection.
  • Elijah was said to have been translated to Heaven on a fiery chariot, a scene often depicted on Early Christian sarcophagi, whereas the Bible says simply that Enoch was taken by God.
2.4 Biology Convert (a sequence of nucleotides in messenger RNA) to an amino-acid sequence in a protein or polypeptide during synthesis.
Example sentences
  • First the DNA is transcribed into messenger RNA by the enzyme RNA polymerase; then the messenger RNA is translated into protein by ribosomes.
  • The genetic code is the mapping by which nucleotide sequences are translated into amino acid sequences.
  • DNA sequences were translated into amino acid sequences (the Drosophila code was used for Gammarus, and the mammalian code was used for Rana and Apodemus).
3 Physics Cause (a body) to move so that all its parts travel in the same direction, without rotation or change of shape.
Example sentences
  • As a result, both angular and vertical accelerations experienced by the body were translated directly to the head.
  • Rotation of the lever in a second direction translates rotational movement into sliding motion of the upper disk in a second direction to control the water flow rate.
  • Everything from the motion of the planets to visual perception was described in terms of particles bouncing off of one another, translating their kinetic motion from one body to another.
3.1 Mathematics Transform (a geometric figure) in an analogous way.
Example sentences
  • The line may be also translated by dragging it anywhere away from the points.
  • To calculate shape coordinates, the 23 triangles were translated, rotated, and rescaled relative to the baseline.



Pronunciation: /ˌtransˌlātəˈbilətē/ Pronunciation: /ˌtranz-/
Example sentences
  • The need for translatability is foregrounded because video games are sold across the world, with most games developed in either Japan or the United States.
  • Drawing on the Renjaminian notion of translatability outlined above, I will now explore the difficulties inherent in translating Manzoni's I promessi sposi.
  • Tyndale's English Bible was first and foremost an exercise in the translatability of the universal truths of the Gospel into the vernacular and idiom of English culture.


Pronunciation: /tranzˈlādəbəl/ Pronunciation: /tran(t)sˈlādəbəl/
Example sentences
  • Sexual orientation is not translatable into the Inuktitut language.
  • An evening spot on Chinese Radio talking about our campaign, and attempting to explain in easily translatable form, what ‘social democratic values’ are.
  • There is an unmistakable beauty, a spectacular charge to found footage that is translatable for a wide range of viewers.


Middle English: from Latin translatus 'carried across', past participle of transferre (see transfer).

Words that rhyme with translate

abate, ablate, aerate, ait, await, backdate, bait, bate, berate, castrate, collate, conflate, crate, create, cremate, date, deflate, dictate, dilate, distraite, donate, downstate, eight, elate, equate, estate, fate, fête, fixate, freight, frustrate, gait, gate, gestate, gradate, grate, great, gyrate, hate, hydrate, inflate, innate, interrelate, interstate, irate, Kate, Kuwait, lactate, late, locate, lustrate, mandate, mate, migrate, misdate, misstate, mistranslate, mutate, narrate, negate, notate, orate, ornate, Pate, placate, plate, prate, prorate, prostrate, pulsate, pupate, quadrate, rate, rotate, sate, sedate, serrate, short weight, skate, slate, spate, spectate, spruit, stagnate, state, straight, strait, Tate, tête-à-tête, Thwaite, translocate, transmigrate, truncate, underrate, understate, underweight, update, uprate, upstate, up-to-date, vacate, vibrate, wait, weight

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: trans·late

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