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[in-tur-pri-tey-shuh n] /ɪnˌtɜr prɪˈteɪ ʃən/
the act of interpreting; elucidation; explication:
This writer's work demands interpretation.
an explanation of the meaning of another's artistic or creative work; an elucidation:
an interpretation of a poem.
a conception of another's behavior:
a charitable interpretation of his tactlessness.
a way of interpreting.
the rendering of a dramatic part, music, etc., so as to bring out the meaning, or to indicate one's particular conception of it.
oral translation.
Origin of interpretation
1250-1300; Middle English < Latin interpretātiōn- (stem of interpretātiō). See interpret, -ation
Related forms
interpretational, adjective
noninterpretational, adjective
overinterpretation, noun
preinterpretation, noun
reinterpretation, noun
self-interpretation, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for reinterpretation
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • And on all sides the need for this reinterpretation is becoming clear.

    Religion & Sex Chapman Cohen
  • It was the invention of Sun Yat-sen—his reinterpretation of Confucianism to suit the modern world.

    Government in Republican China Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger
  • Unless the cry of vanity is to be the last word there must be a reinterpretation of the promise of God.

    The Approach to Philosophy Ralph Barton Perry
  • At the same time the old shamanism was legitimized under a Buddhist reinterpretation.

  • But the chief remedy of the ascetic priest was, after all, his reinterpretation of the feeling of guilt as "sin."

    Friedrich Nietzsche Georg Brandes
  • On the other hand there are not wanting individuals and even large bodies of Christians who are intent upon a reinterpretation.

  • It demands a social reinterpretation of many of the Church's doctrines, a reinterpretation which gives them richer meaning.

    Some Christian Convictions Henry Sloane Coffin
  • My own sketch of modern philosophy is but a reinterpretation of the very truth which that ancient doctrine attempted to portray.

British Dictionary definitions for reinterpretation


the act or process of interpreting or explaining; elucidation
the result of interpreting; an explanation
a particular view of an artistic work, esp as expressed by stylistic individuality in its performance
explanation, as of the environment, a historical site, etc, provided by the use of original objects, personal experience, visual display material, etc
(logic) an allocation of significance to the terms of a purely formal system, by specifying ranges for the variables, denotations for the individual constants, etc; a function from the formal language to such elements of a possible world
Derived Forms
interpretational, adjective
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 reinterpretation



mid-14c. (late 13c. in Anglo-French), from Old French interpretacion (12c.) and directly from Latin interpretationem (nominative interpretatio) "explanation, exposition," noun of action from past participle stem of interpretari (see interpret).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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reinterpretation in Medicine

interpretation in·ter·pre·ta·tion (ĭn-tûr'prĭ-tā'shən)

  1. The act or process of explaining the meaning of something.

  2. A psychotherapist's explanation of the meaning of a patient's remarks, dreams, memories, experiences, and behavior.

in·ter'pret v.
in·ter'pre·ta'tion·al adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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