Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “transpose”


verb [T]     /trænˈspəʊz/ US  /-ˈspoʊz/
formal to change something from one position to another, or to exchange the positions of two things: In their latest production they have reworked 'King Lear', transposing it to pre-colonial Africa. The confusion was caused when two numbers were accidentally transposed by a Social Security clerk.Placing and positioning an object specialized music to play or write a piece of music in a different key (= set of musical notes based on a particular note) from the one used originally: The pianist transposed the song into C.Playing musicSinging in generalWriting, reading and studying music transposition     /ˌtræn.spəˈzɪʃ.ən/ noun [C or U] Placing and positioning an objectPlaying musicSinging in generalWriting, reading and studying music
(Definition of transpose verb from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of transpose

Definitions of “transpose” in other dictionaries

Translations of “transpose”

Word of the Day


an ability to do things in the stated, especially positive, way

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More