interpretation

noun
in·​ter·​pre·​ta·​tion | \ in-ˌtər-prə-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce interpretation (audio) , -pə-\

Definition of interpretation

1 : the act or the result of interpreting : explanation
2 : a particular adaptation or version of a work, method, or style
3 : a teaching technique that combines factual with stimulating explanatory information natural history interpretation program

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Other Words from interpretation

interpretational \ in-​ˌtər-​prə-​ˈtā-​shnəl How to pronounce interpretational (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl , -​pə-​ \ adjective
interpretative \ in-​ˈtər-​prə-​ˌtā-​tiv How to pronounce interpretative (audio) also  -​prə-​tə-​tiv \ adjective
interpretatively adverb
interpretive \ in-​ˈtər-​prə-​tiv How to pronounce interpretive (audio) , -​pə-​ \ adjective
interpretively adverb

Examples of interpretation in a Sentence

a literal interpretation of the law The truth will only be found by careful interpretation of the evidence. His remarks need further interpretation. an actor's interpretation of the role of Hamlet
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Recent Examples on the Web

In one interpretation, the retelling is a parable about the plight of visionary writers unrecognized in their day. Sam Sacks, WSJ, "Fiction: The Past Is Never Dead. It’s Not Even Past," 8 Nov. 2018 Perhaps the timing of Ditte and Nicolaj’s Ganni in the late aughts, ushering in a fresh interpretation of Scandinavian style, aligned well with our collective tiring of these mythical style icons. Alexandra Ilyashov, Glamour, "How Ganni Came to Dictate Everything You Want to Wear Right Now," 10 Oct. 2018 The natural interpretation of this is a depressing one: Bondholders think the Fed is about to make a mistake of historic proportions, raising interest rates into a weak economy and being forced to backtrack within a year. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "What Happens When Bond Markets Get Weird," 3 Jan. 2019 In this evening’s show, for instance, what might have looked like a printed interpretation of Egyptian tomb paintings was actually highly detailed feather marquetry—like inlaid puzzle pieces. Amy Verner, Vogue, "Vogue Got an Exclusive Tour of Chanel’s Ateliers While Tonight’s Métiers d’Art Collection Was Being Made," 5 Dec. 2018 Since the average interval between these big earthquakes was 135 years, a common interpretation is that Southern California is due for a big earthquake. Cade Metz, The Seattle Times, "The next Big One? Earthquake scientists look to AI.," 26 Oct. 2018 But the language of the Student Support and Academic Enrichment grant program does not prohibit this use, so unless Congress takes action to clarify its language, the interpretation and execution of the program would be up to DeVos’s discretion. Sarah Mearhoff, Teen Vogue, "Betsy DeVos Is Reportedly Considering Using Federal Funding to Provide Guns to Schools," 23 Aug. 2018 Scooter Gennett hits the panic button A generous interpretation of this move is that Gennett was trying to get the ball to third and didn’t quite make it. Si.com Staff, SI.com, "Nine Innings: The Yankees' Greatest Need, Unlikely All-Stars and Midsummer Classic Changes," 11 June 2018 Carmouche also disagreed with the oil industry interpretation of the World War II laws, saying, for instance, that the directive to avoid using steel was a rule and not the law. Mark Schleifstein, NOLA.com, "42 oil wetland damage suits move back to federal courts," 30 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'interpretation.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of interpretation

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for interpretation

Last Updated

18 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for interpretation

The first known use of interpretation was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for interpretation

interpretation

noun

English Language Learners Definition of interpretation

: the act or result of explaining or interpreting something : the way something is explained or understood
: a particular way of performing something

interpretation

noun
in·​ter·​pre·​ta·​tion | \ in-ˌtər-prə-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce interpretation (audio) \

Kids Definition of interpretation

1 : the way something is explained or understood What's your interpretation of the results?
2 : a particular way of performing something (as a dramatic role)

interpretation

noun
in·​ter·​pre·​ta·​tion | \ in-ˌtər-prə-ˈtā-shən, -pə- How to pronounce interpretation (audio) \

Medical Definition of interpretation

: the act or result of giving an explanation of something interpretation of the symptoms of disease especially : an explanation in understandable terms to a patient in psychotherapy of the deeper meaning according to psychological theory of the material related and the behavior exhibited by the patient during treatment

Other Words from interpretation

interpret \ in-​ˈtər-​prət, -​pət How to pronounce interpret (audio) \ transitive verb
interpretive \ -​prət-​iv, -​pət-​ How to pronounce interpretive (audio) \ or interpretative \ -​prə-​ˌtāt-​iv How to pronounce interpretative (audio) , -​prət-​ət-​iv How to pronounce interpretative (audio) \ adjective

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interpretation

noun
in·​ter·​pre·​ta·​tion | \ in-ˌtər-prə-ˈtā-shən How to pronounce interpretation (audio) \

Legal Definition of interpretation

: the act or result of interpreting — compare construction

Other Words from interpretation

interpretative \ in-​ˈtər-​prə-​ˌtā-​tiv, -​tə-​tiv How to pronounce interpretative (audio) \ adjective
interpretive \ in-​ˈtər-​prə-​tiv How to pronounce interpretive (audio) \ adjective

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Comments on interpretation

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likely to have or produce good results

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