Definition of decode in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /dēˈkōd/


[with object]
1Convert (a coded message) into intelligible language.
Example sentences
  • After all, the US had broken Japan's diplomatic codes and could sometimes decode messages faster than the Japanese themselves.
  • The British, having broken into the German codes, decoded the telegram.
  • In April 1943, America's intelligence decoded a Japanese message that informed them that Yamamoto was going to visit the northern Solomon Islands on April 18th.
1.1Analyze and interpret (a verbal or nonverbal communication or image): a handbook to help parents decode street language
More example sentences
  • In her chapter on visual representations of ‘Liberty’, Marina Warner decodes the icons of modern political orders that have become so familiar to us that we rarely think about their meanings.
  • Theory can also help historians to interpret and decode visual documents.
  • Roland Barthes had been struck by a camionette carrying the kind of advertising he'd analysed and decoded.
1.2Convert (audio or video signals) into another form, e.g., to analog from digital in sound reproduction: processors used to decode CD-quality digital audio signals
More example sentences
  • Every time the digitiser ‘listens’ to the music it records a number that will allow that tiny slice of music to be reproduced when the digital audio is decoded and made into analogue music that you can hear.
  • For those who don't have cable or satellite TV and don't want to shell out hundreds of dollars for a new set, a converter box will be available to receive and decode digital signals.
  • Its ‘brain’ is the processor that decodes the video and audio signal received through the antenna cable into images that can be displayed on the PC monitor.


A translation of a coded message.
Example sentences
  • Instead, 321 pointed customers to separate decode software widely available on the Internet.
  • The memory device also includes a counter circuitry coupled to the decode logic circuitry that generates a counter value based on the decoded address.
  • Cimarron Technologies will announce the availability of a simultaneous multiple format decode option in their C Plus ANI decoders.



Example sentences
  • At posttesting, D. W. was able to read 70% of the decodable real and nonsense words, in comparison to only 21% at the beginning of intervention.
  • But, it wasn't until the late 1800s when archaeological record became severely damaged and almost not decodable.
  • Students were taught through a series of decodable text with emphasis on phonics skills and grammar skills practice.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: de·code

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.