in·​ter·​pret·​er in-ˈtər-prə-tər How to pronounce interpreter (audio)
plural interpreters
: someone or something that interprets: such as
: someone who translates for individuals or groups conversing in different languages
an interpreter at the United Nations
a sign language interpreter
: someone who explains or expounds
Aside from his Nobel Prize-winning work on quantum electrodynamics (don't ask), [Richard P.] Feynman was an interpreter of Maya hieroglyphics …Pam Freir
: a machine that prints on punch cards the symbols recorded in them by perforations
: a computer program that executes each of a set of high-level instructions before going to the next instruction

Examples of interpreter in a Sentence

He has now learned English well enough that he can conduct interviews without an interpreter. Monet is generally regarded as the foremost interpreter of pure impressionism.
Recent Examples on the Web Python code uses an interpreter to translate the code into machine code line by line as the program runs. IEEE Spectrum, 11 Sep. 2023 Through a Russian interpreter, Svidenko entered not guilty pleas to the charges. oregonlive, 6 Sep. 2023 While communicating via sign language interpreter on Sunday’s episode, the pair discussed how Sheila's mother’s fatal fall had impacted her both both mentally and tangibly. Esther Kang, Peoplemag, 14 Aug. 2023 For instance, the northwest campus has signs and interpreters for the Marshallese language. Doug Thompson, Arkansas Online, 5 Aug. 2023 Alongside Lachi, the accompanying music video features viral sign-language interpreter Amber Galloway; TikTok stars Otis Jones and Nell Russell, also ASL translators; and Tony-winning actress Ali Stroker. Xennia Hamilton, The Hollywood Reporter, 29 July 2023 During the brief hearing, Judge Sherri Murrell ordered Qi to remain jailed without bond as an interpreter explained to Qi in Mandarin what was happening. Hannah Schoenbaum,, 29 Aug. 2023 For the children of immigrants, this can mean taking care of younger siblings while the parents are at work, serving as an interpreter and translator, or having to enter the workforce at a young age to help pay the bills. Tina Vasquez, Los Angeles Times, 28 Aug. 2023 The risks of the growing mission were laid bare in October 2017 when a terrorist ambush killed four American soldiers, their interpreter and four Nigerien soldiers. Elian Peltier, New York Times, 16 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'interpreter.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of interpreter was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near interpreter

Cite this Entry

“Interpreter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


in·​ter·​pret·​er in-ˈtər-prət-ər How to pronounce interpreter (audio)
: one that interprets
especially : a person who translates orally for people speaking different languages
: a computer program that translates an instruction into machine language and executes it before going to the next instruction

More from Merriam-Webster on interpreter

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