trans·late (trănslāt′, trănz-, trăns-lāt, trănz-)
v. trans·lat·ed, trans·lat·ing, trans·lates
1. To render in another language: translated the Korean novel into German.
2. To express in different, often simpler words: translated the technical jargon into ordinary language.
a. To change from one form, function, or state to another; convert or transform: translate ideas into reality.
b. To express in another medium: translated the short story into a movie.
4. To transfer from one place or condition to another: "His remains were translated to San Juan de Puerto Rico where they still rest" (Samuel Eliot Morison).
5. To forward or retransmit (a telegraphic message).
a. Ecclesiastical To transfer (a bishop) to another see.
b. To convey to heaven without death.
7. Physics To subject (a body) to translation.
8. Biology To subject (messenger RNA) to translation.
a. To make a translation.
b. To work as a translator.
2. To admit of translation: His poetry translates well.
3. To be changed or transformed in effect. Often used with into or to: "Today's low inflation and steady growth in household income translate into more purchasing power" (Thomas G. Exter).
[Middle English translaten, from Old French translater, from Latin trānslātus, past participle of trānsferre, to transfer : trāns-, trans- + lātus, brought; see telə- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.