in·​ter·​pret·​er | \ in-ˈtər-prə-tər How to pronounce interpreter (audio) , -pə-\

Definition of interpreter

1 : one that interprets: such as
a : one who translates orally for parties conversing in different languages
b : one who explains or expounds
2a : a machine that prints on punch cards the symbols recorded in them by perforations
b : a computer program that executes each of a set of high-level instructions before going to the next instruction

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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

Common occupations for older people who work from home include financial adviser, accountant, writer, editor, customer-service worker, interpreter and tutor, a FlexJobs analysis shows. Sue Shellenbarger, WSJ, "The Job Advice You Wish You Knew How to Give," 6 May 2019 The group is helping with lawyers, interpreters, and assistance when the immigrants are freed. Andrew Selsky, The Seattle Times, "In a prison and a temple, Oregonians help detained migrants," 23 Oct. 2018 Later, the two leaders—flanked by interpreters and senior diplomats—talked across a lacquered table. Joseph Hincks / Seoul, Time, "President Trump and Kim Jong Un's Historic Summit Could Signal a 'Major Change.' What Do North Korean Defectors Think?," 12 June 2018 Kim Sul Song once served as an interpreter and close aide to her father. Madeline Farber, Fox News, "North Korea and Kim Jong Un: Meet the known key players in the regime," 1 June 2018 There were no interpreters, and the Afghans did not understand the capacity of the three F-18 fighter jets flying 30,000 feet overhead. Michael Ames, Newsweek, "Why Is the FBI Trying to Bury a Special Forces War Hero?," 2 Sep. 2015 The advisers, before deploying, attended an academy at Fort Benning, Ga., that focuses on developing rapport with Afghan soldiers, communicating effectively through an interpreter and learning foreign languages. Dan Lamothe, Washington Post, "U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan was supporting the Army’s new adviser brigade," 8 July 2018 Both interviews were conducted through an interpreter and have been edited and condensed for clarity. Callie Beusman, The Cut, "The Lasting Trauma of Family Detention," 6 July 2018 Were any of their interpreters threatened with a subpoena by Congress? Fox News, "Conway: Media outrage over Helsinki completely over-the-top," 21 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'interpreter.' 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 interpreter

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for interpreter

Last Updated

17 May 2019

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Time Traveler for interpreter

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

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More Definitions for interpreter



English Language Learners Definition of interpreter

: a person who translates the words that someone is speaking into a different language


in·​ter·​pret·​er | \ in-ˈtər-prə-tər How to pronounce interpreter (audio) \

Kids Definition of interpreter

: a person who turns spoken words of one language into a different language

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Comments on interpreter

What made you want to look up interpreter? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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