from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To change into a different shape or form, especially one that is fantastic or bizarre. See Synonyms at convert.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To completely alter the form of.
  • v. To completely alter one's form.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To change into a different shape; to transform.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To transform into some other person or thing, as by magic; convert or transform in general.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. change completely the nature or appearance of


Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Origin uncertain, but possibly from transmigure or transmigrate. It is also possible that this word is a formation derived from maugre, hence it originally signified the "evil eye", but under the influence of the former etymologies shifted its meaning to its sense of "transformation". Another possibility is a humorous blending of transfigure and modify. (Wiktionary)



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  • Heh, probably Buffy for me. Or was that transmutation?

    February 8, 2007

  • Oh, excellent! Glad to know it wasn't just me. :)

    February 8, 2007

  • I'm embarrassed to say that I first learned this word on Neopets many years ago. I thought it was made-up, too... that site invents a lot of goofy fantastical words and phrases.

    February 7, 2007

  • This word does seem made up, and I can never seem to remember the definition, so every time I look it up I think, "Wow, what a great word!"

    February 7, 2007

  • For years, I thought this was a made-up word, because of the context in which I first encountered it: the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip.

    February 6, 2007