toggle menu
menu
vocabulary
1000+ books
Go to Book

interpret
used in The Scarlet Letter

13 uses
(click/touch triangles for details)
1  —12 uses as in:
her interpretation of the data
Definition
to understand or explain something in a particular way — often the meaning or significance of something
  • "Good men ever interpret themselves too meanly," said the physician.
    Chapter 9 -- The Leech (45% in)
interpret = understand or explain (something in a particular way)

(editor's note:  You're unlikely to see meanly in modern writing. Here it is a synonym for harshly.)
  • And never had Hester Prynne appeared more ladylike, in the antique interpretation of the term, than as she issued from the prison.
    Chapter 2 -- The Market Place (43% in)
  • interpretation = meaning or understanding
  • "Thy acts are like mercy," said Hester, bewildered and appalled; "but thy words interpret thee as a terror!"
    Chapter 4 -- The Interview (84% in)
  • interpret = explain (something in a particular way)
  • Nor have I so read or interpreted Holy Writ, as to understand that the disclosure of human thoughts and deeds, then to be made, is intended as a part of the retribution.
    Chapter 10 -- The Leech and his Patient (26% in)
  • interpreted = understood (in a particular way)
  • Beyond the shadow of a doubt, this venerable witch-lady had heard Mr. Dimmesdale's outcry, and interpreted it, with its multitudinous echoes and reverberations, as the clamour of the fiends and night-hags, with whom she was well known to make excursions in the forest.
    Chapter 12 -- The Minister's Vigil (21% in)
  • interpreted = understood (in a particular way)
  • The wooden houses, with their jutting storeys and quaint gable-peaks; the doorsteps and thresholds with the early grass springing up about them; the garden-plots, black with freshly-turned earth; the wheel-track, little worn, and even in the market-place margined with green on either side—all were visible, but with a singularity of aspect that seemed to give another moral interpretation to the things of this world than they had ever borne before.
    Chapter 12 -- The Minister's Vigil (63% in)
  • interpretation = understanding or explanation of meaning
  • Nothing was more common, in those days, than to interpret all meteoric appearances, and other natural phenomena that occurred with less regularity than the rise and set of sun and moon, as so many revelations from a supernatural source.
    Chapter 12 -- The Minister's Vigil (67% in)
  • interpret = understand or explain (something in a particular way)
  • But did your reverence hear of the portent that was seen last night? a great red letter in the sky—the letter A, which we interpret to stand for Angel.
    Chapter 12 -- The Minister's Vigil (99% in)
  • interpret = understand or explain (something in a particular way)
  • Such helpfulness was found in her—so much power to do, and power to sympathise—that many people refused to interpret the scarlet A by its original signification.
    Chapter 13 -- Another View of Hester (30% in)
  • interpret = understand or explain (something in a particular way)
  • Interpreting Hester Prynne's deportment as an appeal of this nature, society was inclined to show its former victim a more benign countenance than she cared to be favoured with, or, perchance, than she deserved.
    Chapter 13 -- Another View of Hester (36% in)
  • interpreting = understanding (something in a particular way)
  • There was, perhaps, a fortunate disorder in his utterance, which failed to impart any distinct idea to the good widows comprehension, or which Providence interpreted after a method of its own.
    Chapter 20 -- The Minister in a Maze (46% in)
  • interpreted = explained (in a particular way)
  • But, throughout it all, and through the whole discourse, there had been a certain deep, sad undertone of pathos, which could not be interpreted otherwise than as the natural regret of one soon to pass away.
    Chapter 23 -- The Revelation of the Scarlet Letter (13% in)
interpreted = understood
There are no more uses of "interpret" flagged with this meaning in The Scarlet Letter.

Typical Usage  (best examples)
Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary list — Onelook.com®
?  —1 use
exact meaning not specified
  • Certainly there was some deep meaning in it most worthy of interpretation, and which, as it were, streamed forth from the mystic symbol, subtly communicating itself to my sensibilities, but evading the analysis of my mind.
    Introductory (68% in)

There are no more uses of "interpret" in The Scarlet Letter.

Typical Usage  (best examples)
Dictionary / pronunciation — Google®Dictionary list — Onelook.com®