What does interpret mean?

Definitions for interpret
ɪnˈtɜr prɪtin·ter·pret

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word interpret.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. interpret, construe, seeverb

    make sense of; assign a meaning to

    "What message do you see in this letter?"; "How do you interpret his behavior?"

  2. rede, interpretverb

    give an interpretation or explanation to

  3. interpret, renderverb

    give an interpretation or rendition of

    "The pianist rendered the Beethoven sonata beautifully"

  4. represent, interpretverb

    create an image or likeness of

    "The painter represented his wife as a young girl"

  5. translate, interpret, renderverb

    restate (words) from one language into another language

    "I have to translate when my in-laws from Austria visit the U.S."; "Can you interpret the speech of the visiting dignitaries?"; "She rendered the French poem into English"; "He translates for the U.N."

  6. understand, read, interpret, translateverb

    make sense of a language

    "She understands French"; "Can you read Greek?"


  1. interpretverb

    To explain or tell the meaning of; to expound; to translate orally into intelligible or familiar language or terms; to decipher; to define; -- applied especially to language, but also to dreams, signs, conduct, mysteries, etc.; as, to interpret the Hebrew language to an Englishman; to interpret an Indian speech.

  2. interpretverb

    To apprehend and represent by means of art; to show by illustrative representation; as, an actor interprets the character of Hamlet; a musician interprets a sonata; an artist interprets a landscape.

  3. interpretverb

    To act as an interpreter.

  4. Etymology: From interpreten, from enterpreter, (interpréter), from interpretor, past participle interpretatus, from interpres, from inter + -pres, probably the root of pretium; -pres is probably connected with φράζειν, from which φραδή, φράσις; see phrase.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To INTERPRETverb

    To explain; to translate; to decipher; to give a solution; to clear by exposition; to expound.

    Etymology: interpreter, French; interpretor, Lat.

    One, but painted thus,
    Would be interpreted a thing perplex'd
    Beyond self-explication. William Shakespeare, Cymbeline.

    You should be women,
    And yet your beards forbid me to interpret
    That you are so. William Shakespeare, Macbeth.

    He hanged the chief baker, as Joseph had interpreted to them. Gen. xl. 22.

    Pharaoh told them his dream; but there was none that could interpret them unto him. Gen. xli. 8.

    An excellent spirit, knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel. Dan. v. 12.

    Hear his sighs, though mute!
    Unskilful with what words to pray, let me
    Interpret for him. John Milton, Paradise Lost, b. xi.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Interpretverb

    to explain or tell the meaning of; to expound; to translate orally into intelligible or familiar language or terms; to decipher; to define; -- applied esp. to language, but also to dreams, signs, conduct, mysteries, etc.; as, to interpret the Hebrew language to an Englishman; to interpret an Indian speech

  2. Interpretverb

    to apprehend and represent by means of art; to show by illustrative representation; as, an actor interprets the character of Hamlet; a musician interprets a sonata; an artist interprets a landscape

  3. Interpretverb

    to act as an interpreter

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Interpret

    in-tėr′pret, v.t. to explain the meaning of, to elucidate, unfold, show the purport of: to translate into intelligible or familiar terms.—v.i. to practise interpretation.—adj. Inter′pretable, capable of being explained.—n. Interpretā′tion, act of interpreting: the sense given by an interpreter: the power of explaining: the representation of a dramatic part according to one's conception of it.—adj. Interpretā′tive, collected by or containing interpretation.—adv. Inter′pretātively.—n. Inter′preter, one who explains between two parties: an expounder: a translator. [Fr.,—L. interprerāri, -ātusinterpres, inter, between, -pres, prob. conn. with Gr. phrasis, speech.]

Editors Contribution

  1. interpret

    To understand accurately and easily communication, words, language, instruction and definitions of language.

    She did interpret the questionnaire and responded to the best of her interpretation at that moment of time.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 20, 2020  

British National Corpus

  1. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'interpret' in Verbs Frequency: #455

How to pronounce interpret?

How to say interpret in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of interpret in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of interpret in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of interpret in a Sentence

  1. Luca Bassi:

    Market research remains the cornerstone of business decision making, all over the world all companies and industry will require more data, and more solutions to analysis and interpret that data.

  2. Justice Samuel Alito:

    Given the way the confirmation process -- the interviews of senators that occur immediately upon the announcement of the nomination -- I think it would be very difficult for somebody who has not been dealing with the whole breadth of federal law that may come before the Supreme Court to be ready for those interviews, or at least to have thought about how you interpret the Constitution, how do you interpret the statutes, what do you think about precedents -- issues like that, you will be hit with all of that immediately once the nomination has been announced.

  3. Gary Bradshaw:

    I think people interpret lower oil prices as a weakness to the overall world economy and therefore if there’s not a real strong demand for energy, the economy is getting weaker.

  4. Diman Bayeez:

    I was very poor. I have schizophrenia and was just diagnosed with blood cancer, and my only daughter wasn't treating me well. I was borrowing money from people for the treatment. That was in June 2014, and she described her situation to a cab driver named Mahmoud in her home city of Kirkuk. He was ISIS and said if I joined, they would treat me well and pay me, she says. I said I would join on one condition : That they make me a suicide bomber and put me out of my misery. Mahmoud was killed fighting in Hawija, and two ISIS members found her number in his phone. She – along with her now ex-husband – were recruited. K.S. says she did not receive any formal training as a combatant, and did not pledge allegiance to ISIS, but admits that she allowed two militants to stay at her home – she now suspects that one was a spy for the Kurdish security forces. But when she was scheduled to put on the suicide vest, she got cold feet. She fled with the idea of seeking asylum in Europe, but the Kurds picked her up before she could leave. I told them I did all these bad things I didn't do because I wanted to be executed. I still wanted to die, K.S. says, saying that she attempted to kill herself in jail, too, with a kitchen knife. Now Iam thankful to God. I know I have committed no crime. Kurdish authorities beg to differ. According to the deputy manager of the correctional center, Zhino Azad, K.S. was deeply entrenched in ISIS, coordinating for their agents and being a guard at their female prisons – possibly filled with captured Yazidi sex slaves. Even her daughter, a lawyer, is terrified of her, Zhino Azad tells FoxNews.com. She is … a little psychotic. That's the type of people ISIS takes advantage of. K.S. does n’t mind prison at all. It is like heaven in this jail, she says. Here, she is safe from ISIS, is fed and receives medical treatment. I get to read the Koran all day and sleep, K.S. says with a bright smile. And I interpret dreams for the other women. A.H., a 35-year-old mother with a small tribal tattoo on the tip of her nose, also spoke to FoxNews.com. She was issued a life sentence, which was reduced to 20 years, then 15, because she has young children -- six of them who are between 5 and 16 years old. They are being looked after by the second of her husband's four wives. He is in jail now too, she says. At first, A.H. maintains that she was working at a civilian hospital that was controlled by ISIS, but that she never treated wounded fighters, but it does n’t take long for her to let her guard down, especially after the prison official with us begins wandering in and out of the room. I went to ISIS Diman Bayeez and said I would do anything, clean hospitals, if they gave me a salary – $ 260 a month, she says. So I was setting up IVs and injections for the fighters. While she admits to having sworn allegiance to the Caliphate, A.H. also claims she was a spy for Iraqi intelligence, and, fearful that ISIS members would find out, she fled to Kurdistan in early 2016. We have problems, especially with the new prisoners, radicalizing others, so we try to keep the terrorists separate. - Diman Bayeez, manager of the Women and Childrens Prison of Erbil She says all evidence of her spying was taken from her at an Iraqi Army checkpoint. Of course I regret [ helping ISIS ]. But my family was hungry. My husband was old, she pleads. I feel betrayed. They took my phone, my proof I was helping them. They all say they aren't guilty.

  5. Chris Christie:

    I heard a candidate complain the other day that, you know, 'my positions' -- meaning that candidate's positions -- 'on comments I made about entitlement reform are being misconstrued by the press.' Well, it's much harder to be misconstrued by the press if you're specific, if you continue to speak in generalities, then you're going to have other people interpret what you mean.

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    a rugged box (usually made of wood); used for shipping
    • A. lumberman
    • B. hypernym
    • C. peccadillo
    • D. crate

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