See more synonyms for interpreter on
  1. a person who interprets.
  2. a person who provides an oral translation between speakers who speak different languages.
  3. Computers.
    1. hardware or software that transforms one statement at a time of a program written in a high-level language into a sequence of machine actions and executes the statement immediately before going on to transform the next statement.Compare compiler(def 2).
    2. an electromechanical device that reads the patterns of holes in punched cards and prints the same data on the cards, so that they can be read more conveniently by people.

Origin of interpreter

1350–1400; Middle English interpretour < Anglo-French; see interpret, -er2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for interpreter


  1. a person who translates orally from one language into another
  2. a person who interprets the work of others
  3. computing
    1. a program that translates a second program to machine code one statement at a time and causes the execution of the resulting code as soon as the translation is completed
    2. a machine that interprets the holes in a punched card and prints the corresponding characters on that card
Derived Formsinterpretership, nouninterpretress, fem n
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 interpreter

"one who translates spoken languages; a translator of written texts," late 14c., from Old French interpreteor, from Late Latin interpretatorem, agent noun from interpretari (see interpret).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper