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verb (used with or without object)
  1. to interpret, explain, or understand incorrectly.
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Origin of misinterpret

First recorded in 1580–90; mis-1 + interpret
Related formsmis·in·ter·pret·a·ble, adjectivemis·in·ter·pre·ta·tion, nounmis·in·ter·pret·er, nounun·mis·in·ter·pret·a·ble, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for misinterpret

misread, err, miscalculate, distort, misrepresent, falsify, misunderstand, garble, misconstrue, mistake, pervert, misconceive

Examples from the Web for misinterpret

Contemporary Examples of misinterpret

Historical Examples of misinterpret

British Dictionary definitions for misinterpret


  1. (tr) to interpret badly, misleadingly, or incorrectly
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Derived Formsmisinterpretation, nounmisinterpreter, noun
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 misinterpret


1580s, from mis- (1) + interpret. Related: Misinterpreted; misinterpreting.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper