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[mis-in-tur-prit] /ˌmɪs ɪnˈtɜr prɪt/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
to interpret, explain, or understand incorrectly.
Origin of misinterpret
1580-90; mis-1 + interpret
Related forms
misinterpretable, adjective
misinterpretation, noun
misinterpreter, noun
unmisinterpretable, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for misinterpret
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He said that there had been much tendency to misinterpret in both countries, but that things were now better.

    Before the War Viscount Richard Burton Haldane
  • Nor can I conceive that any one will so misinterpret the custom.

  • Her face was very pale, but her dark eyes beamed on me with a veiled tenderness that I could not misinterpret.

    The Argosy Various
  • These foreign fellows will be quite ready to misinterpret it.

    The Daltons, Volume I (of II) Charles James Lever
  • You can not misinterpret me; I dont want Sue to be hurt, and I do not want you to be capable of hurting her.

    Tessa Wadsworth's Discipline Jennie M. Drinkwater
  • Then, fearing Zezdon Afthen might misinterpret his silence, he plunged on.

    Invaders from the Infinite John Wood Campbell
  • Haeckel is a great writer because he reveres a fact, and would not for his life deny or misinterpret one.

  • But lest some should misinterpret these remarks, I will add that there must be grace at heart.

    The Young Maiden A. B. (Artemas Bowers) Muzzey
British Dictionary definitions for misinterpret


(transitive) to interpret badly, misleadingly, or incorrectly
Derived Forms
misinterpretation, noun
misinterpreter, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for misinterpret

1580s, from mis- (1) + interpret. Related: Misinterpreted; misinterpreting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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