misinterpret

verb
mis·​in·​ter·​pret | \ ˌmi-sᵊn-ˈtər-prət How to pronounce misinterpret (audio) , -pət\
misinterpreted; misinterpreting; misinterprets

Definition of misinterpret

transitive verb

1 : to explain wrongly His comment on the speech misinterprets the speaker's meaning.
2 : to understand wrongly Her silence should not be misinterpreted as consent.

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Examples of misinterpret in a Sentence

He claims that his statements have been misinterpreted by the media. Her silence should not be misinterpreted as consent.

Recent Examples on the Web

Police succumbed to tunnel vision and confirmation bias, misinterpreting Deskovic’s amateur passion to help solve the crime as a sign of guilt. Michelle Malkin, National Review, "From Convicted Murderer to Exoneree to Law Grad," 5 June 2019 Just don’t go too snarky on the jokes in case they're misinterpreted. Katie Bowlby, Country Living, "What to Write in a Wedding Card," 28 May 2019 The anecdotal findings of his focus groups suggest that adoptees report being misdiagnosed, having their symptoms misinterpreted (as Nanci experienced), and enduring invasive tests that could have been ruled out with complete family medical records. Fiona Tapp, SELF, "What It’s Like to Fill in the Gaps in Your Health History When You’re Adopted," 18 Jan. 2019 Because of that, Kurt said, Zig was able to find a clear and uniform path to get children to the end goal of mastering material by working backward, spotting the moment it could be misinterpreted and adjusting it. Jordyn Brown, The Seattle Times, "Remembering Siegfried ‘Zig’ Engelmann’s legacy of learning," 12 Apr. 2019 For instance, if somebody has the wrong ride-share app downloaded when people are splitting a trip, will that be misinterpreted as being miserly? Kevin Mcallister, WSJ, "The Confusing World of Venmo Etiquette," 10 Feb. 2019 Self-driving car sensors have been known to misinterpret steam, car exhaust, or scraps of cardboard as obstacles akin to concrete medians. Aarian Marshall, WIRED, "False Positives: Self-Driving Cars and the Agony of Knowing What Matters," 29 May 2018 And besides, people constantly misinterpret one another's intentions—which has proved a real obstacle for designers seeking universal meaning. Tim Heffernan, Popular Mechanics, "Finland's Crazy Plan to Make Nuclear Waste Disappear," 10 May 2012 Additionally, the research found particular words that Alexa misinterpreted for particular dialects and genders—meaning that these words could potentially be used to target attacks against a specific demographic. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Researchers show Alexa “skill squatting” could hijack voice commands," 30 Aug. 2018

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

1547, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for misinterpret

Last Updated

13 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for misinterpret

The first known use of misinterpret was in 1547

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More Definitions for misinterpret

misinterpret

verb

English Language Learners Definition of misinterpret

: to understand or explain (something) incorrectly : to interpret (something) incorrectly

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More from Merriam-Webster on misinterpret

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for misinterpret

Spanish Central: Translation of misinterpret

Nglish: Translation of misinterpret for Spanish Speakers

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