to construe or understand in a particular way: to interpret a reply as favorable.
to bring out the meaning of (a dramatic work, music, etc.) by performance or execution.
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.
to translate orally.
Computers. : See also interpreter (def. 3).
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.
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.
to translate what is said in a foreign language.
to explain something; give an explanation.
- in·ter·pret·a·ble, adjective
- in·ter·pret·a·bil·i·ty, in·ter·pret·a·ble·ness, noun
- in·ter·pret·a·bly, adverb
- non·in·ter·pret·a·bil·i·ty, noun
- non·in·ter·pret·a·ble, adjective
- pre·in·ter·pret, verb (used with object)
- re·in·ter·pret, verb
- self-in·ter·pret·ed, adjective
- self-in·ter·pret·ing, adjective
- un·in·ter·pret·a·ble, adjective
- un·in·ter·pret·ed, adjective
- well-in·ter·pret·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use interpret in a sentence
They’d often include symmetric arrangements of circles and lines, which Jung would interpret in light of his notion of archetypes.The Synchronicity of Wolfgang Pauli and Carl Jung - Issue 93: Forerunners | Paul Halpern | November 18, 2020 | Nautilus
We were asked to interpret what such findings from new studies mean for student athletes recovering from coronavirus infections.Teen athletes with even mild COVID-19 can develop heart problems | Partho Sengupta | November 18, 2020 | Science News For Students
Government agencies, which were aware of the tests’ limitations, could have built up trust by being more transparent about them and how to interpret results, scientists said.Rapid Testing Is Less Accurate Than the Government Wants to Admit | by Lisa Song | November 16, 2020 | ProPublica
Echoing a limitation noted in the Cell paper, critics further emphasized that cell culture studies aren’t able to replicate the complexities of real life, so results should be interpreted with caution.
Point is, he didn’t give enough information to know if the test results are real or how to interpret it.Elon Musk’s rapid COVID test tweets raise more questions than answers | Verne Kopytoff | November 13, 2020 | Fortune
To be sure, Jefferson did share the credit, but not in the way such a resolution might be interpreted.
Analysts interpreted it as an immediate ripple effect of the newly established US-Cuban détente.Venezuela Says Goodbye to Its Lil Friend, While the Rest of the Continent Cheers | Catalina Lobo-Guererro | December 20, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Interpreted more broadly, the phrase loses meaning: what constitutes the necessary threshold of realism?
Death is interpreted differently by various people, cultures, and even science.
This statement, interpreted by many in the media as a sign that the epidemic is abating, prompts more questions than answers.The WHO’s Big Asterisk on Liberia’s Ebola Case Decrease | Abby Haglage | October 31, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
When these last words of his were interpreted to her, she started, made as if she would run after him, but checked herself.Ramona | Helen Hunt Jackson
It is at best an empirical test and must be interpreted in the light of clinical symptoms.A Manual of Clinical Diagnosis | James Campbell Todd
This rule, theoretically correct, must be very liberally interpreted in practice.Assimilative Memory | Marcus Dwight Larrowe (AKA Prof. A. Loisette)
Lastly a contract dates from the time of acceptance, and is construed or interpreted by the law of the place where it was made.Putnam's Handy Law Book for the Layman | Albert Sidney Bolles
May it not be that "Go ye unto all the world" message has been somewhat narrowly interpreted and the spirit of it missed?Third class in Indian railways | Mahatma Gandhi
British Dictionary definitions for interpret
(tr) to clarify or explain the meaning of; elucidate
(tr) to construe the significance or intention of: to interpret a smile as an invitation
(tr) to convey or represent the spirit or meaning of (a poem, song, etc) in performance
(intr) to act as an interpreter; translate orally
- interpretable, adjective
- interpretability or interpretableness, noun
- interpretably, adverb
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