mis·​in·​ter·​pret | \ˌmi-sᵊn-ˈtər-prət, -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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Other Words from misinterpret

misinterpretation \ˌmi-​sᵊn-​ˌtər-​prə-​ˈtā-​shən, -​pə-​ \ noun

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

Incorrect angle-of-attack data can result in faulty airspeed displays, false stall warnings and other problems that could be misinterpreted by pilots. Andrew Tangel, WSJ, "FAA Launches Review of Boeing’s Safety Analyses," 13 Nov. 2018 Previous employers had occasionally misinterpreted his skill as laziness and accused him of not having logged sufficient time with the mop. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Google’s former PR boss Jessica Powell wrote a satirical novel about tech and published it all on Medium," 2 Oct. 2018 Reproductive rights advocates have argued Kavanaugh misinterpreted that rule, however. Lauren Holter, Teen Vogue, "Why Brett Kavanaugh's Comment About Birth Control Is So Worrisome," 7 Sep. 2018 In response to the criticism, Netflix’s original series vice-president Cindy Holland said the message of the show was misinterpreted, according to ABC News. Ellen Ricks, Teen Vogue, "Watching Netflix's Insatiable as an Eating Disorder Survivor Triggered Me," 17 Aug. 2018 Grenell, like President Trump, has responded to criticisms via Twitter, in essence, saying his comments have been misinterpreted. Diane Bell, sandiegouniontribune.com, "A sign of hope in an age of political incivility," 11 June 2018 At least one economist says Snyder and state officials have misinterpreted the effects of the federal tax changes. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, "Donald Trump tax cut spurs renewed debate over cutting Michigan personal income tax," 2 Jan. 2018 This is sometimes misinterpreted by new parents as a reaction to their presence, a reward for their intense concern and sleepless efforts. Neil Steinberg, CNN, "How far would you go to be able to smile?," 13 June 2018 Family, friends and co-workers may not understand someone’s attempts to make changes and may misinterpret it as a midlife, or late-life, crisis. Glenn Ruffenach, WSJ, "Change Your Personality Later in Life? Yes, It Is Possible.," 22 Apr. 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

28 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for misinterpret

The first known use of misinterpret was in 1547

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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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