Definition of interpret verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

Oxford3000 Academic


1 [transitive] interpret something to explain the meaning of somethingThe students were asked to interpret the poem.2 [transitive] to decide that something has a particular meaning and to understand it in this way interpret something as somethingI didn't know whether to interpret her silence as acceptance or refusal. interpret somethingThe data can be interpreted in many different ways. compare misinterpret3 [intransitive] interpret (for someone) to translate one language into another as you hear itShe couldn't speak much English so her children had to interpret for her.4 [transitive] interpret something to perform a piece of music, a role in a play, etc. in a way that shows your feelings about its meaningHe interpreted the role with a lot of humor. interpretable
adjectiveinterpretable data
Usage noteUsage note: interpretinterpret verbbe difficult toThe results of the three studies are inconsistent and difficult to interpret.~ with cautionThe results of this study, however, should be interpreted with caution because of several methodological flaws.~ within a/the framework|~ within a/the contextThe results should be interpreted within the context of a number of underlying interpreted asTypographical errors may be reasonably interpreted as resulting from carelessness.broadly|narrowly, strictly|cautiously|accurately, correctly|erroneously, incorrectly|variouslyHistorians have variously interpreted the treaty's significance.The findings should be interpreted cautiously because of the small sample, finding, result|pattern|information|study|meaning|behavior|theory|textTo interpret the results, it is important to understand how the study was organized.interpretation nounbroad|literal, narrow, strict|subjective|plausible|correct|erroneousAlexander Hamilton advocated a broad interpretation of the Constitution, which President George Washington open to, be subject toMany ethical issues are complex and subject to multiple interpretations.defy, preclude|complicate|confound, contradict|challenge, refute|favor, supportThe small sample size precludes further interpretation of this finding.misinterpret verbeasily|completely|willfullyEvery clinician is at risk of making an error when confusing or easily misinterpreted abbreviations or symbols are used.misinterpretation nouncommon|gross, serious|deliberate|possible, potentialThese small misinterpretations would often lead to gross misinterpretations of the text as a open to, be subject to|lead to, result in|be prone to|be based on, rest on|avoid, preventUnfortunately, his conclusions rested on a misinterpretation of the data.