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 Emails can be misinterpreted as being rude or too direct. Stephanie Russell, Quartz at Work, "Remote working is a great perk—but only if you do it right," 24 Oct. 2019 The state said the data errors were inadvertent and Golding was misinterpreting them, but the judge in the Coleman case disagreed. Megan Cassidy, SFChronicle.com, "Exclusive: Suicides rise again in California prisons — 36 this year, despite scrutiny," 28 Dec. 2019 Advisers told him Iran had probably misinterpreted his previous reluctance to use force as a sign of weakness. Peter Baker, BostonGlobe.com, "Seven days in January: How the US and Iran approached the brink of war," 11 Jan. 2020 This phenomenon seems to affect women more than men and is often misinterpreted by others (and sadly by the women themselves) as a lack of ambition or career confidence. Michelle Friedman, Quartz, "For a more equal division of labor at home, stop delegating and start divvying," 20 Dec. 2019 Spilo later apologized if anyone misinterpreted his physical conduct. Erin Nyren, chicagotribune.com, "‘Survivor’ boots contestant Dan Spilo following off-camera incident," 12 Dec. 2019 Rutkauski was charged with neglect of duty for misinterpreting the policy. Rebecca Lurye, courant.com, "Hartford police detective told woman reporting sexual assault ‘she was going to ruin someone’s life’," 4 Nov. 2019 As a result, people — scientists included — can misinterpret dog expressions. Jo Yurcaba, Woman's Day, "Do Dogs Smile? Here's What's Really Behind That Goofy Grin," 26 Dec. 2019 The Oregon Veterinary Medical Association has since publicly decried the blunt force trauma method used, saying the guidelines were misinterpreted. oregonlive, "A bobcat wandered into an Oregon school. State agencies killed it, and people want to know why.," 13 Nov. 2019

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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Time Traveler for misinterpret

Time Traveler

The first known use of misinterpret was in 1547

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Statistics for misinterpret

Last Updated

21 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Misinterpret.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misinterpret. Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for misinterpret


How to pronounce misinterpret (audio)

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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