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[mis-in-tur-prit] /ˌmɪs ɪnˈtɜr prɪt/
verb (used with or without object)
to interpret, explain, or understand incorrectly.
Origin of misinterpret
First recorded in 1580-90; mis-1 + interpret
Related forms
misinterpretable, adjective
misinterpretation, noun
misinterpreter, noun
unmisinterpretable, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for misinterpreted
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The mere turning of her head was misinterpreted by Ovid as an implied rebuke.

    Heart and Science Wilkie Collins
  • Aunt Sally misinterpreted his silence, and returned to her work on the pies.

  • Was this another mystery; or had he misinterpreted Mr. Harper's purpose in passing over to him the address of this small town?

    The Chief Legatee Anna Katharine Green
  • The reservations placed upon our adherence should not be misinterpreted.

  • What have you misinterpreted in me that has given you any rights as far as I am concerned?

    The Streets of Ascalon Robert W. Chambers
British Dictionary definitions for misinterpreted


(transitive) to interpret badly, misleadingly, or incorrectly
Derived Forms
misinterpretation, noun
misinterpreter, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for misinterpreted



1580s, from mis- (1) + interpret. Related: Misinterpreted; misinterpreting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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