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.