• synonyms


  1. serving to interpret; explanatory.
  2. deduced by interpretation.
  3. made because of interpretation: an interpretive distortion of language.
  4. of or relating to those arts that require an intermediary, as a performer, for realization, as in music or theater.
  5. offering interpretations, explanations, or guidance, as through lectures, brochures, or films: the museum's interpretive center.
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Origin of interpretive

First recorded in 1670–80; interpret + -ive
Related formsin·ter·pre·tive·ly, adverbnon·in·ter·pre·tive, adjectivenon·in·ter·pre·tive·ly, adverbnon·in·ter·pre·tive·ness, nounself-in·ter·pre·tive, adjectiveun·in·ter·pre·tive, adjectiveun·in·ter·pre·tive·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Word Origin and History for interpretively



1670s, from interpret + -ive; also see interpretative. Listed by Fowler among the words "that for one reason or another should not have been brought into existence."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper