Meaning of “interpret” in the English Dictionary

"interpret" in British English

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interpretverb

uk /ɪnˈtɜː.prɪt/ us /-ˈtɝː-/

interpret verb (FIND MEANING)

C1 [ T ] to decide what the intended meaning of something is:

It's difficult to interpret these statistics without knowing how they were obtained.
A jury should not interpret the silence of a defendant as a sign of guilt.

More examples

  • Any change of policy will be interpreted as a sign of weakness.
  • The whole play can be interpreted as a lament for lost youth.
  • He interpreted her comments as an implicit criticism of the government.
  • Recent happenings on the money markets can be interpreted in various ways.
  • How do you interpret this passage of the poem?

(Definition of “interpret” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"interpret" in American English

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interpretverb

us /ɪnˈtɜr·prɪt/

interpret verb (FIND MEANING)

[ T ] to describe the meaning of something; examine in order to explain:

It’s difficult to interpret these statistics without knowing how they were obtained.

interpret verb (CHANGE LANGUAGE)

[ I/T ] to change what someone is saying into the words of another language; translate:

[ I ] I had to ask someone to interpret for me because I don’t know any Italian.

(Definition of “interpret” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)