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

transitive verb

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

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 People who are morally convicted have more uncompromising beliefs and are more likely to ignore or misinterpret facts. Joshua Rottman, Scientific American, 20 Nov. 2023 This pipeline meant that facts were distorted and events were exaggerated or misinterpreted. Darren Loucaides, WIRED, 31 Oct. 2023 Another possibility is that many economists misinterpreted the nature of the inflation spike to begin with, viewing it primarily as a product of excessive demand rather than of pandemic-era supply disruptions, which have now largely disappeared. John Cassidy, The New Yorker, 17 Nov. 2023 Worse still, their adaptive responses may even be misinterpreted as personal failings or professional deficiencies of individual Black professionals rather than as reactions to legitimate concerns. Kevin Woodson, Fortune, 13 Nov. 2023 My swipes on the pad were often misinterpreted and felt relatively slow and unresponsive even when they were interpreted correctly. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, 17 Oct. 2023 In the interim, King’s legacy has been sanded down, misinterpreted as a paragon of moderation by opponents of actual change. Boris Kachka, Los Angeles Times, 1 Nov. 2023 An electrician from southern California, Cafferty was photographed in June 2020 with his hand making a gesture that people on Twitter misinterpreted as a white power symbol. Samuel Clowes Huneke, The New Republic, 26 Oct. 2023 What the body camera footage captured was the lack of training for officers on when Taser use is appropriate, Douglas said, adding that officers often misinterpret a person squirming as a form of resistance that justifies the device’s use. Libor Jany, Los Angeles Times, 26 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'misinterpret.' 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

1547, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of misinterpret was in 1547

Dictionary Entries Near misinterpret

Cite this Entry

“Misinterpret.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/misinterpret. Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


mis·​in·​ter·​pret ˌmis-ᵊn-ˈtər-prət How to pronounce misinterpret (audio)
: to understand or explain wrongly
misinterpretation noun

More from Merriam-Webster on misinterpret

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