- to give or provide the meaning of; explain; explicate; elucidate: to interpret the hidden meaning of a parable.
- 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.
- 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.
Origin of interpret
- (tr) to clarify or explain the meaning of; elucidate
- (tr) to construe the significance or intention ofto 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
Word Origin and History for self-interpreting
late 14c., from Old French interpreter (13c.) and directly from Latin interpretari "explain, expound, understand," from interpres "agent, translator," from inter- (see inter-) + second element of uncertain origin, perhaps related to Sanskrit prath- "to spread abroad," PIE *per- (5) "to traffic in, sell" (see pornography). Related: Interpreted; interpreting.