Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

construe

play
verb con·strue \kən-ˈstrü\

Simple Definition of construe

  • : to understand (an action, event, remark, etc.) in a particular way

  • : to understand the meaning of (a word, phrase, or sentence)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of construe

construed

construing

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to analyze the arrangement and connection of words in (a sentence or sentence part)

  3. 2 :  to understand or explain the sense or intention of usually in a particular way or with respect to a given set of circumstances <construed my actions as hostile>

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to construe a sentence or sentence part especially in connection with translating

construable

play \-ˈstrü-ə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of construe in a sentence

  1. The way the court construes various words has changed over time.

  2. <the role of the justices of the Supreme Court in construing the constitution>



Origin and Etymology of construe

Middle English, from Late Latin construere, from Latin, to construct


First Known Use: 14th century


2

construe

play
noun con·strue \ˈkän-ˌstrü\

Definition of construe

  1. :  an act or the result of construing especially by piecemeal translation



1844

First Known Use of construe

1844

Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms


CONSTRUE Defined for Kids

construe

play
verb con·strue \kən-ˈstrü\

Definition of construe for Students

construed

construing

  1. :  to understand or explain the sense or intention of <He mistakenly construed my actions as unfriendly.>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up construe? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

mysterious, holy, or spiritual

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

lavender-fields-in-france

Which of these is a synonym of caesura?

rebellion torrent megillah interruption
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ