verb (used with object), trans·lat·ed, trans·lat·ing.

  1. to turn from one language into another or from a foreign language into one’s own: to translate Spanish.
  2. to change the form, condition, nature, etc., of; transform; convert: to translate wishes into deeds.
  3. to explain in terms that can be more easily understood; interpret.
  4. to bear, carry, or move from one place, position, etc., to another; transfer.
  5. Mechanics. to cause (a body) to move without rotation or angular displacement; subject to translation.
  6. Computers. to convert (a program, data, code, etc.) from one form to another: to translate a FORTRAN program into assembly language.
  7. Telegraphy. to retransmit or forward (a message), as by a relay.
  8. Ecclesiastical.
    1. to move (a bishop) from one see to another.
    2. to move (a see) from one place to another.
    3. to move (relics) from one place to another.
  9. to convey or remove to heaven without natural death.
  10. Mathematics. to perform a translation on (a set, function, etc.).
  11. to express the value of (a currency) in a foreign currency by applying the exchange rate.
  12. to exalt in spiritual or emotional ecstasy; enrapture.

verb (used without object), trans·lat·ed, trans·lat·ing.

  1. to provide or make a translation; act as translator.
  2. to admit of translation: The Greek expression does not translate easily into English.


  1. to express or be capable of being expressed in another language or dialecthe translated Shakespeare into Afrikaans; his books translate well
  2. (intr) to act as translator
  3. (tr) to express or explain in simple or less technical language
  4. (tr) to interpret or infer the significance of (gestures, symbols, etc)
  5. (tr) to transform or convertto translate hope into reality
  6. (tr; usually passive) biochem to transform the molecular structure of (messenger RNA) into a polypeptide chain by means of the information stored in the genetic codeSee also transcribe (def. 7)
  7. to move or carry from one place or position to another
  8. (tr)
    1. to transfer (a cleric) from one ecclesiastical office to another
    2. to transfer (a see) from one place to another
  9. (tr) RC Church to transfer (the body or the relics of a saint) from one resting place to another
  10. (tr) theol to transfer (a person) from one place or plane of existence to another, as from earth to heaven
  11. maths physics to move (a figure or body) laterally, without rotation, dilation, or angular displacement
  12. (intr) (of an aircraft, missile, etc) to fly or move from one position to another
  13. (tr) archaic to bring to a state of spiritual or emotional ecstasy

v.c.1300, “to remove from one place to another,” also “to turn from one language to another,” from Latin translatus “carried over,” serving as past participle of transferre “to bring over, carry over” (see transfer), from trans- (see trans-) + latus “borne, carried,” from *tlatos, from PIE root *tel-, *tol- “to bear, carry” (see extol). Related: Translated; translating. A similar notion is behind the Old English word it replaced, awendan, from wendan “to turn, direct” (see wend). v.

  1. To render in another language.
  2. To put into simpler terms; explain or interpret.
  3. To subject mRNA to translation.

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