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interpret

[in-tur-prit]
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verb (used with object)
  1. to give or provide the meaning of; explain; explicate; elucidate: to interpret the hidden meaning of a parable.
  2. to construe or understand in a particular way: to interpret a reply as favorable.
  3. to bring out the meaning of (a dramatic work, music, etc.) by performance or execution.
  4. to perform or render (a song, role in a play, etc.) according to one's own understanding or sensitivity: The actor interpreted Lear as a weak, pitiful old man.
  5. to translate orally.
  6. Computers.
    1. to use an interpreter to transform (a program written in a high-level language) into a sequence of machine actions, one statement at a time, executing each statement immediately before going on to transform the next one.
    2. to read (the patterns of holes in punched cards) with an interpreter, printing the interpreted data on the same cards so that they can be read more conveniently by people.
    See also interpreter(def 3).
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verb (used without object)
  1. to translate what is said in a foreign language.
  2. to explain something; give an explanation.
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Origin of interpret

1350–1400; Middle English interpreten < Latin interpretārī, derivative of interpret- (stem of interpres) explainer
Related formsin·ter·pret·a·ble, adjectivein·ter·pret·a·bil·i·ty, in·ter·pret·a·ble·ness, nounin·ter·pret·a·bly, adverbnon·in·ter·pret·a·bil·i·ty, nounnon·in·ter·pret·a·ble, adjectivepre·in·ter·pret, verb (used with object)re·in·ter·pret, verbself-in·ter·pret·ed, adjectiveself-in·ter·pret·ing, adjectiveun·in·ter·pret·a·ble, adjectiveun·in·ter·pret·ed, adjectivewell-in·ter·pret·ed, adjective

Synonym study

1. See explain.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for interpreted

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Chip saw and interpreted the glance, somewhat contemptuously.

  • The book of Christianity must be interpreted by the disciples of Christianity.

  • She nodded her head towards the door, and he interpreted this to mean Miss Squibb.

    The Foolish Lovers

    St. John G. Ervine

  • The coincidence was interpreted by Casanova as a propitious sign.

    Casanova's Homecoming

    Arthur Schnitzler

  • The look in her eyes I interpreted as a warning that I was not to recognize Zimmern.


British Dictionary definitions for interpreted

interpret

verb
  1. (tr) to clarify or explain the meaning of; elucidate
  2. (tr) to construe the significance or intention ofto interpret a smile as an invitation
  3. (tr) to convey or represent the spirit or meaning of (a poem, song, etc) in performance
  4. (intr) to act as an interpreter; translate orally
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Derived Formsinterpretable, adjectiveinterpretability or interpretableness, nouninterpretably, adverb

Word Origin

C14: from Latin interpretārī, from interpres negotiator, one who explains, from inter- + -pres, probably related to pretium price
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

Word Origin and History for interpreted

interpret

v.

late 14c., from Old French interpreter (13c.) and directly from Latin interpretari "explain, expound, understand," from interpres "agent, translator," from inter- (see inter-) + second element of uncertain origin, perhaps related to Sanskrit prath- "to spread abroad," PIE *per- (5) "to traffic in, sell" (see pornography). Related: Interpreted; interpreting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper