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
Valcuha set forth his credentials with a varied and interesting program representing a cook's tour of musical styles, interpreted with the firm authority CSO musicians expect, but don't always receive, from newcomers.
Some lawyers have said that that could be interpreted as witness tampering.
It was interpreted as a jab at Trump's surreal photo op at the inauguration of a counterterrorism center in Riyadh.
The government argued that courts should defer to immigration officials in interpreting laws that are vague.
Council members at the time questioned the AECOM letter, interpreting the firm’s overtures as a request to not only design, build and finance a new KCI terminal as Burns & McDonnell proposed, but also operate and maintain it.
Both Solberg and Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipila cautioned against interpreting Merkel’s remarks as a major shift.
And because many people know this, letters of thanks for attendance tend to be unpleasantly interpreted as meaning that something more was expected.
The researchers in this study interpreted this observation to be a product of the workforce.
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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