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[in-tur-pri-tiv] /ɪnˈtɜr prɪ tɪv/
serving to interpret; explanatory.
deduced by interpretation.
made because of interpretation:
an interpretive distortion of language.
of or relating to those arts that require an intermediary, as a performer, for realization, as in music or theater.
offering interpretations, explanations, or guidance, as through lectures, brochures, or films:
the museum's interpretive center.
Origin of interpretive
First recorded in 1670-80; interpret + -ive
Related forms
interpretively, adverb
noninterpretive, adjective
noninterpretively, adverb
noninterpretiveness, noun
self-interpretive, adjective
uninterpretive, adjective
uninterpretively, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for interpretive
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And they respond by calling forth the interpretive genius of their conductor.

    Herein is Love

    Reuel L. Howe
  • Clogging, the ballet, interpretive and toe dances—why enumerate them.

  • It is interpretive of episode, and the episode forces it into shape.

    Beauty and the Beast Stewart A. McDowall
  • But we prefer to be interpretive, to come closer home than this.

    The United Seas Robert W. Rogers
  • He shot a level, interpretive glance into her eyes, then left.

    The Financier Theodore Dreiser
Word Origin and History for interpretive

1670s, from interpret + -ive; also see interpretative. Listed by Fowler among the words "that for one reason or another should not have been brought into existence."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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