Etymology
Advertisement
interpret (v.)

late 14c., "expound the meaning of, render clear or explicit," from Old French interpreter "explain; translate" (13c.) and directly from Latin interpretari "explain, expound, understand," from interpres "agent, translator," from inter "between" (see inter-) + second element probably from PIE *per- (5) "to traffic in, sell." Related: Interpreted; interpreting.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
interpretable (adj.)
1610s, from Late Latin interpretabilis "that can be explained or translated," from Latin interpretari "explain, expound, understand" (see interpret).
Related entries & more 
misinterpret (v.)

understand or explain wrongly or falsely," "1580s, from mis- (1) "badly, wrongly" + interpret. Related: Misinterpreted; misinterpreting.

Related entries & more 
interpretative (adj.)
"meant to explain," 1560s, from past participle stem of Latin interpretari "explain, expound; understand" (see interpret). Interpretive means the same but is considered to be less correctly formed, because -ive adjectives are normally formed on the Latin past participle. Related: Interpretatively.
Related entries & more 
interpreter (n.)
"one who translates spoken languages; a translator of written texts," late 14c., from Old French interpreteor, entrepreteur, from Late Latin interpretator "an explainer," agent noun from interpretari "explain, expound" (see interpret).
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
interpretive (adj.)
1670s, from interpret + -ive, perhaps on model of assertive or other like words, where the -t- belongs to the Latin stem. The preferred formation is interpretative. Listed by Fowler among the words "that for one reason or another should not have been brought into existence."
Related entries & more 
interpretation (n.)
mid-14c. "a translated text, a translation" (late 13c. in Anglo-French), from Old French interpretacion, entrepretatiun "explanation, translation" (12c.) and directly from Latin interpretationem (nominative interpretatio) "explanation, exposition," noun of action from past participle stem of interpretari "explain, expound; understand" (see interpret).

From late 14c. as "act or process of explaining or interpreting; an explanation; construction placed upon an action." Meaning "dramatic or musical representation" is from 1880.
Related entries & more 
hermeneutic (adj.)
"interpretive," 1670s, from Latinized form of Greek hermeneutikos "of or for interpreting," from hermeneutes "interpreter," from hermeneuein "to interpret (foreign languages); interpret into words, give utterance to," a word of unknown origin (formerly considered ultimately a derivative of Hermes, as the tutelary divinity of speech, writing, and eloquence).
Related entries & more 
misconstrue (v.)

late 14c., "interpret erroneously, to put a wrong construction on" (words or deeds), from mis- (1) "badly, wrongly" + construe. Related: Misconstrued; misconstruing.

Related entries & more 
paraphrase (v.)

"restate, interpret, express the meaning of in other words," c. 1600, from paraphrase (n.) or from French paraphraser. Related: Paraphrased; paraphrasing.

Related entries & more