"change completely, transform into some other person or thing as if by magic," 1650s, a word of unknown origin. Century Dictionary describes its usage as "humorous and contemptuous" and suggests it might be based on transform. In 17c. and 18c. it also appeared as transmography. OED appends a note suggesting it could be a vulgar formation based off transmigrate, which was used from c. 1600 in reference to souls passing into other bodies after death (see transmigration). If so, it might have been influenced by modify. Related: Transmogrified; transmogrifying.
updated on October 16, 2022
Dictionary entries near transmogrify