[in-tur-pri-tey-shuh n]


the act of interpreting; elucidation; explication: This writer's work demands interpretation.
an explanation of the meaning of another's artistic or creative work; an elucidation: an interpretation of a poem.
a conception of another's behavior: a charitable interpretation of his tactlessness.
a way of interpreting.
the rendering of a dramatic part, music, etc., so as to bring out the meaning, or to indicate one's particular conception of it.
oral translation.

Origin of interpretation

1250–1300; Middle English < Latin interpretātiōn- (stem of interpretātiō). See interpret, -ation
Related formsin·ter·pre·ta·tion·al, adjectivenon·in·ter·pre·ta·tion·al, adjectiveo·ver·in·ter·pre·ta·tion, nounpre·in·ter·pre·ta·tion, nounre·in·ter·pre·ta·tion, nounself-in·ter·pre·ta·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for reinterpretation

Contemporary Examples of reinterpretation

Historical Examples of reinterpretation

  • And on all sides the need for this reinterpretation is becoming clear.

    Religion &amp; Sex

    Chapman Cohen

  • It was the invention of Sun Yat-sen—his reinterpretation of Confucianism to suit the modern world.

    Government in Republican China

    Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger

  • Unless the cry of vanity is to be the last word there must be a reinterpretation of the promise of God.

    The Approach to Philosophy

    Ralph Barton Perry

  • At the same time the old shamanism was legitimized under a Buddhist reinterpretation.

  • But the chief remedy of the ascetic priest was, after all, his reinterpretation of the feeling of guilt as "sin."

    Friedrich Nietzsche

    Georg Brandes

British Dictionary definitions for reinterpretation



the act or process of interpreting or explaining; elucidation
the result of interpreting; an explanation
a particular view of an artistic work, esp as expressed by stylistic individuality in its performance
explanation, as of the environment, a historical site, etc, provided by the use of original objects, personal experience, visual display material, etc
logic an allocation of significance to the terms of a purely formal system, by specifying ranges for the variables, denotations for the individual constants, etc; a function from the formal language to such elements of a possible world
Derived Formsinterpretational, adjective
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 reinterpretation



mid-14c. (late 13c. in Anglo-French), from Old French interpretacion (12c.) and directly from Latin interpretationem (nominative interpretatio) "explanation, exposition," noun of action from past participle stem of interpretari (see interpret).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

reinterpretation in Medicine




The act or process of explaining the meaning of something.
A psychotherapist's explanation of the meaning of a patient's remarks, dreams, memories, experiences, and behavior.
Related formsin•terpret v.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.