Definition of interpret
1 : to explain or tell the meaning of : present in understandable terms interpret dreams needed help interpreting the results
2 : to conceive in the light of individual belief, judgment, or circumstance : construe interpret a contract
3 : to represent by means of art : bring to realization by performance or direction interprets a role
: to act as an interpreter between speakers of different languages
interpretabilityplay \in-ˌtər-prə-tə-ˈbi-lə-tē, -pə-tə-\ noun
interpretableplay \in-ˈtər-prə-tə-bəl, -pə-tə-\ adjective
Examples of interpret in a Sentence
We need someone to interpret these results for us.
How should we interpret the law?
I interpreted his behavior to mean that he disliked me.
Every actor interprets the role of Hamlet a little differently.
Recent Examples of interpret from the Web
His tune, widely interpreted as an anti-authoritarian anthem, climbed the charts and spawned a new countercultural movement, Tropicalismo.
In season four, many viewers interpreted a scene between Jaime and Cersei Lannister as nonconsensual (although the episode's director Alex Graves said that was not the intention).
His longer-term impact may be in how future courts interpret his separate opinions, experts say.
But others interpreted the lyrics as a reminder to Young that not all Southerners are the same.
But so much of your work has been received and interpreted as political or feminist.
The move, should the Big Ten legislate it, can be interpreted in several ways.
The scenes and characters could be interpreted, reasonably, persuasively, in any number of ways.
That’s been interpreted as being less than half of their expenditures.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'interpret.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of interpret
Middle English, from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French interpreter, from Latin interpretari, from interpret-, interpres agent, negotiator, interpreter
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of interpret
INTERPRET Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of interpret for English Language Learners
: to explain the meaning of (something)
: to understand (something) in a specified way
: to perform (something, such as a song or a role) in a way that shows your own thoughts and feelings about it
INTERPRET Defined for Kids
Definition of interpret for Students
1 : to explain the meaning of She claims to interpret dreams.
2 : to understand in a particular way He interpreted Cluny's order as the much-coveted promotion to second-in-command. — Brian Jacques, Redwall
3 : to bring out the meaning of An actor interprets a role.
Legal Definition of interpret
: to explain or tell the meaning of (as a document) especially in order to determine intent they must interpret the provisions of the Constitution — L. H. Tribe
Seen and Heard
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