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See also: Interpret and intèrpret



From Middle English interpreten, from Old French enterpreter, (French interpréter), from Latin interpretor (to explain, expound, interpret), past participle interpretatus, from interpres (an agent, broker, explainer, interpreter, negotiator), from inter (between) + -pres, probably the root of pretium (price); -pres is probably connected with Ancient Greek φράζειν (phrázein, to point out, show, explain, declare, speak), from which φραδή (phradḗ, understanding), φράσις (phrásis, speech); see phrase.



interpret (third-person singular simple present interprets, present participle interpreting, simple past and past participle interpreted)

  1. To decode the meaning of a topic and then act, whether to continue researching the topic, follow through, act in opposition, or further the understanding through sharing an interpretation.
  2. To explain or tell the meaning of; to translate orally into intelligible or familiar language or terms. applied especially to language, but also to dreams, signs, conduct, mysteries, etc.
    to interpret an Indian speech
    • The Holy Bible, Matthew i. 23.
      Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
    • The Holy Bible, Genesis xli. 8.
      And Pharaoh told them his dreams; but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh.
    • 2013 July 26, Leo Hickman, “How algorithms rule the world”, in The Guardian Weekly, volume 189, number 7, page 26:
      The use of algorithms in policing is one example of their increasing influence on our lives. [] who, if anyone, is policing their use[?] Such concerns were sharpened further by the continuing revelations about how the US National Security Agency (NSA) has been using algorithms to help it interpret the colossal amounts of data it has collected from its covert dragnet of international telecommunications.
  3. To apprehend and represent by means of art; to show by illustrative representation
    The actor interpreted the character of Hamlet with great skill.
    The way the musician interpreted a sonata was quite special.
    an artist interprets a landscape
  4. (intransitive) To convey what a user of one language is saying or signing, in real time or shortly after that person has finished communicating, to a user of a different language
    He interpreted at the meeting between the Chinese and French associates.
  5. (computing, transitive) To analyse or execute (a program) by reading the instructions as they are encountered, rather than compiling in advance.


Related terms[edit]





interpret m

  1. (programming) interpreter

Lower Sorbian[edit]


From Latin interpres.


interpret m (feminine equivalent interpretka)

  1. performer




From French interprèt, from Latin interpres.


interpret m (plural interpreți)

  1. interpreter