• WordNet 3.6
    • v interpret make sense of a language "She understands French","Can you read Greek?"
    • v interpret make sense of; assign a meaning to "What message do you see in this letter?","How do you interpret his behavior?"
    • v interpret give an interpretation or explanation to
    • v interpret 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."
    • v interpret create an image or likeness of "The painter represented his wife as a young girl"
    • v interpret give an interpretation or rendition of "The pianist rendered the Beethoven sonata beautifully"
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

"But here hardby comes Heaven's interpreter." "But here hardby comes Heaven's interpreter."

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Rosalind Franklin was the woman behind Watson and Crick's doudle helix DNA model. She did all the experiments, but died before she was paid credit. Watson and Crick merely took her results and interpreted it.
    • v. i Interpret To act as an interpreter.
    • Interpret 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.
    • Interpret 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. "Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.""And Pharaoh told them his dreams; but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Sometime around 1325, the Aztecs were looking for a place to build their capital. A priest had interpreted an omen to mean the site should be where the found an eagle, perched on a cactus, devouring a snake. And that's why they chose what is now Mexico City; they found the eagle eating a snake while resting on a cactus. The scene is depicted on the Mexican flag.
    • interpret To expound the meaning or significance of, as by translation or explanation; elucidate or unfold, as foreign or obscure language, a mystery, etc.; make plain or intelligible.
    • interpret To show the purport of; develop or make clear by representation: as, to interpret a drama or a character by action on the stage.
    • interpret To construe; attribute a given meaning to: as, the company interpreted his silence unfavorably.
    • interpret Synonyms Render, Construe, etc. (see translate); Expound, Elucidate, etc. (see explain).
    • interpret To practise interpretation; make an interpretation or explanation; tell or determine what something signifies.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: This is what the red, white, and blue on the US flag represent: The Continental Congress left no record to show why it chose the colors. However, in 1782, the Congress of the Confederation chose these same colors for the Great Seal of the United States and listed their meaning as follows: white to mean purity and innocence, red for valor and hardiness, and blue for vigilance, perseverance, and justice. According to legend, George Washington interpreted the elements of the flag this way: the stars were taken from the sky, the red from the British colors, and the white stripes signified the secession from the home country. However, there is no official designation or meaning for the colors of the flag.
    • v.t Interpret in-tėr′pret to explain the meaning of, to elucidate, unfold, show the purport of: to translate into intelligible or familiar terms
    • v.i Interpret to practise interpretation
    • ***


  • John Locke
    “The actions of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts.”
  • Novalis
    “Only an artist can interpret the meaning of life.”
  • George Eliot
    “No story is the same to us after a lapse of time; or rather we who read it are no longer the same interpreters.”
  • Friedrich Nietzsche
    “There are no facts, only interpretations.”
  • Amos Bronson Alcott
    “Our friends interpret the world and ourselves to us, if we take them tenderly and truly.”
  • Charles H. Parkhurst
    Charles H. Parkhurst
    “Home interprets heaven. Home is heaven for beginners.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. interprêter, L. interpretari, p. p. interpretatus, fr. interpres, interpeter, agent, negotiator; inter, between + (prob.) the root of pretium, price. See Price


In literature:

You will see several reasons, all of which are very good, for doubting my interpretation of this writing.
"The Cryptogram" by James De Mille
The Mechanistic Interpretation of Society.
"Introduction to the Science of Sociology" by Robert E. Park
They did not even hustle him, but there were interrogatory syllables directed to the interpreter.
"The Prisoner" by Alice Brown
Some subjects, like the social sciences, naturally allow for richer interpretations.
"College Teaching" by Paul Klapper
Meanwhile, if any such correspondence exists, it is clear that physiology and sociology will more or less interpret each other.
"Essays: Scientific, Political, & Speculative, Vol. I" by Herbert Spencer
He will then determine to maintain the primacy of primary truth by =interpreting in its light the facts of all other realms=.
"The Church, the Schools and Evolution" by J. E. (Judson Eber) Conant
The party smoked the pipe of peace and carried on a rather clumsy conversation by means of an interpreter.
"Pathfinders of the Great Plains" by Lawrence J. Burpee
But man has been very slow to see that he is a part of that same Nature of which he is the minister and interpreter.
"Under the Maples" by John Burroughs
It is almost impossible for us not to interpret the lives of the lower animals in the terms of our own experience and our own psychology.
"Ways of Nature" by John Burroughs
The second point is that the whole issue arises on a conflict of interpretations.
"Religion & Sex" by Chapman Cohen

In poetry:

We need love's tender lessons taught
As only weakness can;
God hath His small interpreters;
The child must teach the man.
"Child-Songs" by John Greenleaf Whittier
But not for her has spring renewed
The sweet surprises of the wood;
And bird and flower are lost to her
Who was their best interpreter.
"The Singer" by John Greenleaf Whittier
DAFYTH. Dafyth's my name, which, being interpreted,
Means David. We've been harpers, man and boy,
Since Wales became dry land, and Dwygifylchy
Rose from the flood.
"The Wynnes Of Wynhavod. Act V" by Emily Pfeiffer
That God hath been “His own interpreter”
From first to last. So you will understand
The tribe who best succeed, when men most err,
To suck through fogs the fatness of the land.
"Faith in God" by Henry Kendall
O Fair and stately maid, whose eye
Was kindled in the upper sky
At the same torch that lighted mine;
For so I must interpret still
Thy sweet dominion o'er my will,
A sympathy divine.
"To Eva" by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Awake, my fair, my love, awake,
So that I may gaze upon you!
And if one is eager to kiss your lips,
In your dreams this do you see,
Lo, then I myself of your dream
The interpreter will be.
"Awake, my fair" by Yehudah ha-Levi

In news:

An in-your-face interpretation of the American sedan.
Study Findings Hard to Interpret —Reply.
Study Findings Hard to Interpret .
This is bad if only one interpretation has validity.
During his 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama ran on the platform of "change we can believe in" — but he has a different approach to the Supreme Court's interpretation of constitutional law.
Sealaska Heritage Institute has been awarded two grants to perpetuate Native arts and to help the general public interpret Northwest Coast art designs.
How Anti-Semites Interpret the Contemporary Political Scene.
Campaigns are leaving a lot to interpret .
Elected Officials Interpret The Health Law.
How to interpret and respond to inappropriate interview questions.
There seems to be regional and even "inspector-specific" interpretation and enforcement of regulatory requirements.
The name change emphasizes the original intent to ensure consistent interpretation and implementation of agency regulation and policies.
There is a lot of dialogue in the play and the interpreting students have to make sure they are conveying the message of each scene and character without trying to be an actor.
Can Obama Interpret Iran's Mixed Signals.
How to interpret reputation rankings.

In science:

The inverse of the maximal line length can be interpreted to be directly related with the maximal positive Lyapunov exponent [7,9,16]; in this interpretation it is assumed that the considered system is chaotic and has no stochastic influences.
Nonlinear analysis of bivariate data with cross recurrence plots
We have said nothing about interpreting the rest of the language, but however many interpretations there are (we have seen to it that there are only a finite number) the proportion that renders “F (a)” true will remain unchanged; it will be at least 1 − δ .
Evaluating Defaults
De Muynck W. M., Interpretations of quantum mechanics, and interpretations of violation of Bell’s inequality.
Representation theorem for obsevables on a quantum logic
An advantage of the longer proof is that it also yields results of independent interest, including one interpretation of SF E (µ) in terms of the “conditional free energy” of one fundamental domain of L—conditioned on its “lexicographic past”—and another interpretation involving discrete derivatives.
Random Surfaces
A = ψ†aψa should be interpreted as the vacancy number, while the vortices in its phase winding are interpreted as boson number.
Mutual Composite Fermion and composite Boson approaches to balanced and imbalanced bilayer quantum Hall system: an electronic analogy of the Helium 4 system