Definition of interpreter in English:



  • 1A person who interprets, especially one who translates speech orally or into sign language.

    • ‘Thousands of translators and interpreters around the world continue to perform essential tasks in often less-than-ideal conditions.’
    • ‘She says many Bulgarians speak excellent English and there is no shortage of interpreters or translators.’
    • ‘The pair sat in the dock flanked by four police officers and the proceedings were translated by an interpreter.’
    • ‘As a rule, interpreters are supposed to translate between their mother tongue and another language.’
    • ‘For about ten minutes, one gentleman asked me questions in English, and the interpreter translated them into Czech.’
    • ‘Only a few cinemas were equipped with earphones through which to hear interpreters translating the dialogues in the films for the audiences.’
    • ‘However, is it reasonable for the committee to ask that I provide translation and interpreters?’
    • ‘Only a few English and Canadian personnel remained, mostly acting as translators and interpreters.’
    • ‘This will mean 20 official languages, requiring in each case 150 new translators and interpreters.’
    • ‘May Congress enact laws that instruct courts and other interpreters how to interpret future laws?’
    • ‘There was much chatter, much nodding, then an expectant silence as the interpreter translated.’
    • ‘That does not include the cost for medical expenses, interpreters and lawyers.’
    • ‘As for the use of the Maori language, how can an interpreter translate adequately on the spur of the moment?’
    • ‘Then he watches as an interpreter translates for me, and nods to check I have understood.’
    • ‘But interpreters go further than translators who deal in written works - they deal with the spoken word.’
    • ‘MIT students recruited as interpreters will provide translations.’
    • ‘An additional expense may be the cost of translations and interpreters.’
    • ‘The British interpreter gave his version to the Russian interpreter who then translated for Stalin.’
    • ‘He looked exhausted and uncomfortable as he waited for the interpreter to translate.’
    • ‘There is often a need to employ interpreters to assist with interviews, in some cases working in dialects from remote parts of the world.’
    translator, transcriber, transliterator, decipherer
    performer, presenter, portrayer, exponent
    analyst, evaluator, reviewer, commentator, annotator
    View synonyms
  • 2Computing
    A program that can analyse and execute a program line by line.

    • ‘The first line ensures that we run the Ruby interpreter, regardless of where it might be in our path.’
    • ‘The check is aimed at ensuring that no incongruent code is executed by the filter interpreter.’
    • ‘The resulting machine code is stored in memory and lost when the interpreter terminates.’
    • ‘When an error occurs, the Ruby interpreter packages the error in an exception object.’
    • ‘This code easily can cause a case of the interpreter doing what you said, not what you meant.’


Late Middle English: from Old French interpreteur, from late Latin interpretator, from Latin interpretari (see interpret).