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.

Example Sentences

He claims that his statements have been misinterpreted by the media. Her silence should not be misinterpreted as consent.
Recent Examples on the Web Discrepancies, canvassers claim, can indicate fraud — though experts say that canvassers often misinterpret normal imperfections in difficult-to-maintain voter lists, such as someone failing to update their address when moving. Doug Bock Clark, ProPublica, 1 Nov. 2022 No one should misinterpret inexperience with unqualified. Dr. Lobna Karoui, Forbes, 27 May 2021 People with health anxiety often misinterpret these sensations as a sign that something is physically wrong, in the future if not in the moment. Time, 20 Sep. 2022 But the statement also includes items that are easy to overlook or misinterpret. Robert Powell, USA TODAY, 24 Aug. 2022 The company has been working on the technology since 2013, training it to pick up on the nuances, dialects and choppy nature of kid speech in ways traditional voice-command systems could misinterpret. Sara Randazzo, WSJ, 7 Aug. 2022 His team’s research has shown that even when warning signs are posted, people often fail to notice them and misinterpret the signs. Frank Witsil, Detroit Free Press, 14 July 2022 Green then responded to a post from Skip Bayless, who seemed to misinterpret a quote from Green on his podcast. oregonlive, 20 June 2022 Cases abound in which officers misinterpret traffic laws or simply fail to talk to witnesses who may be able to back up the victim. Outside Online, 4 May 2020 See More

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.

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 1 Dec. 2022.

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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