Definition of interpret verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they interpret
    he / she / it interprets
    past simple interpreted
    -ing form interpreting
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  1. 1[transitive] interpret something to explain the meaning of something The students were asked to interpret the poem.
  2. 2[transitive] to decide that something has a particular meaning and to understand it in this way interpret something as something I didn't know whether to interpret her silence as acceptance or refusal. interpret something The data can be interpreted in many different ways. compare misinterpret
  3. 3[intransitive] interpret (for somebody) to translate one language into another as you hear it She couldn't speak much English so her children had to interpret for her.
  4. 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 meaning He interpreted the role with a lot of humor.
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adjective interpretable data
AWL Collocationsinterpretinterpret 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.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: interpret