Definition of transcribe in English:


Pronunciation /tranˈskrʌɪb//trɑːnˈskrʌɪb/


[with object]
  • 1Put (thoughts, speech, or data) into written or printed form.

    ‘each interview was taped and transcribed’
    • ‘Speech can be transcribed phonetically at different levels of detail and accuracy.’
    • ‘The interviews were audiotaped and then transcribed for analysis.’
    • ‘Focus groups were audiotaped and videotaped and later transcribed using the audiotaped versions of the meetings.’
    • ‘When the sun was three-fourths of the way down, I began to write, scribbling furiously to finish transcribing my thoughts before the light was lost altogether and we met as a group.’
    • ‘The interviews were recorded on audiotape and transcribed by the researcher.’
    • ‘All interviews were then transcribed verbatim (with the exception of minor phrases such as ‘uh-huh’).’
    • ‘The interviews were transcribed verbatim, and the interviewer verified the accuracy.’
    • ‘Audiotapes from the focus groups were transcribed by the researchers.’
    • ‘Sometimes subjects or their representatives will ask to see quotes, ostensibly to check that they have been accurately transcribed.’
    • ‘The outcome would be a book transcribing exactly what the anthropologists were told, no less and no more.’
    • ‘And furthermore, those tapes are then transcribed.’
    • ‘Interviews were transcribed by the researcher who carried out the interview.’
    • ‘The real question is whether they accurately transcribe actual government documents.’
    • ‘The sound, I am all too familiar with; my ability to accurately transcribe it is in doubt.’
    • ‘The interviews were transcribed for qualitative data analysis and analyzed using grounded theory methodologies.’
    • ‘The interview tapes were transcribed verbatim and assigned a unique identifier for each participant.’
    • ‘Interviews and focus group discussions were audio taped and later transcribed for analysis.’
    • ‘Her speeches were never transcribed - at least during her stay abroad - and were never distributed adequately to the public.’
    • ‘Each group session was audiotaped, and the tapes were transcribed verbatim.’
    • ‘The interview transcripts were then fully transcribed and coded to uncover analytic themes.’
    write down, set down, put in writing, put down, take down, note, make a note of, jot down, put down on paper, commit to paper
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Transliterate (foreign characters) or write or type out (shorthand, notes, or other abbreviated forms) into ordinary characters or full sentences.
      ‘the court was adjourned so that they could transcribe their notes’
      • ‘The writing system Romoaji is used to transcribe Japanese into the Roman alphabet.’
      • ‘In the seminary classroom I taught relative clauses by transcribing examples of Kiswahili sentences on the blackboard with their English equivalents.’
      • ‘Later, some people will return to their offices or hotels and transcribe the words onto their computers if they can read them, others may just file away their notes.’
      • ‘Massaging her temples, she sat back down at the desk and began to transcribe her notes.’
      • ‘As I scanned the pile of little DayGlo yellow notes I realized that there was enough notations to keep me busy transcribing my notes for days to come.’
      • ‘A smaller portion of their literature was written in chu nom, a writing system that uses a combination of Chinese characters to transcribe Vietnamese sounds.’
      • ‘The only thing missing is my secretary to transcribe the following notes.’
      • ‘I was very tired when I went to see it, which probably didn't help, but I scribbled down some notes during the screening, which I transcribe for you here.’
      • ‘She sat quietly at the table, drinking tea and transcribing her notes on the interview with Jerry.’
      • ‘From about 1564 he began to collect and transcribe manuscripts and to compose historical works, the first to be based on systematic study of public records.’
      • ‘Stein transcribed the work from Husserl's shorthand in 1916.’
      • ‘Finally one day Jeanne got tired of trying to transcribe my notes that were scribbled on numerous bits of paper in longhand.’
      • ‘Should I, perhaps, apply more editorial distance when transcribing my notes to your page?’
      • ‘That transcript was part of the minutes were provided to Professor Arnold in shorthand, and she paid to have them transcribed.’
      • ‘She decides to transcribe his notes on the typewriter in case anyone should ever have to read it.’
      • ‘The handwritten notes were then transcribed into typewritten interview transcripts to be used for data analysis.’
      • ‘Shorthand is eventually transcribed to longhand, and buzzwords lose their sting.’
      • ‘From his notes, which have been transcribed, and are not just obscure scribbles, it is clear that he considered painting a science, on an equal par with mechanics, biology or mathematics.’
      • ‘That manuscript note is accurately transcribed in the typed version.’
      • ‘I made my own money, transcribing notes for Jeremy's growing translation business, and I paid for my tickets, so what was the big deal?’
      write out, copy out, copy in full, write in full, put in writing, set down, take down, type out, print out, put on paper, commit to paper, reproduce
      transliterate, interpret, translate, render, convert, write up, rewrite
      View synonyms
  • 2Arrange (a piece of music) for a different instrument, voice, or group of these.

    ‘his largest early work was transcribed for organ’
    • ‘Liszt developed a physical virtuosity for the instrument and transcribed for it, sacrificing musical subtlety to an astonishing mechanical technique.’
    • ‘In adapting the work, Beethoven does not simply transcribe it note for note.’
    • ‘Bach's most famous organ work, the Toccata and Fugue in D minor, was transcribed for violin by Bruce Fox-Lefriche (who changed the key to A minor in the process).’
    • ‘Sérgio observes that there is now a lot of music being composed for guitar, unlike the fairly recent past when most music had to be transcribed.’
    • ‘There is also a C.P.E. Bach Sonata here, transcribed and sounding delightful with its switch of instrument.’
    • ‘They also transcribed music for the instrument from many sources, most notably the harpsichord, violin and piano.’
    • ‘Transcription can be a dodgy game: the instrument being transcribed for must bear some harmonic relationship to the original.’
    • ‘Surely we can't take him seriously, given the G major Concerto he did complete, and the D major Concerto he transcribed for flute?’
    • ‘Barshai transcribed the Eighth Quartet for chamber orchestra under the composer's supervision.’
    • ‘Milhaud originally scored it for a small orchestra, then, due to its great success, transcribed it for duet.’
    • ‘Liszt transcribed Beethoven's symphonies, as well as a myriad other vocal and instrumental works, for piano.’
    • ‘Indeed, the Sonata in G essentially transcribes an earlier work for two flutes and continuo.’
    • ‘In those early years he would frequently transcribe orchestral music for the organ.’
    • ‘There are four popular Chopin items, the first set of the Schubert Impromptus, and Ravel's La Valse as transcribed by the composer for piano solo.’
    • ‘Originally written for organ in 1945, McKay transcribed it for two string orchestras in 1962.’
    • ‘The only change is that Orff transcribed the orchestral parts for two pianos.’
    • ‘In 1930, the composer transcribed the score for two pianos.’
    • ‘The Five Songs Without Words that follow were later transcribed for violin and piano and in that guise they have been heard far more often than in vocal form.’
  • 3Biochemistry
    Synthesize (RNA) using a template of existing DNA (or vice versa), so that the genetic information is copied.

    ‘polymerases transcribe it into a long RNA molecule’
    • ‘However, additional studies are needed to determine if Twin is actually transcribed by polymerase III.’
    • ‘All genes are transcribed from the same strand, and scaling is only approximate.’
    • ‘The ligated mRNA is reverse transcribed using a general or gene-specific primer.’
    • ‘All of the 19 identified genes are transcribed from the same DNA strand.’
    • ‘Thus, the Y-linked copy of the S. latifolia spermidine synthase gene is actively transcribed.’


Mid 16th century (in the sense ‘make a copy in writing’): from Latin transcribere, from trans- ‘across’ + scribere ‘write’.