verb con·strue \kən-ˈstrü\

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

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


Full Definition of CONSTRUE

transitive verb
:  to analyze the arrangement and connection of words in (a sentence or sentence part)
:  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>
intransitive verb
:  to construe a sentence or sentence part especially in connection with translating
con·stru·able \-ˈstrü-ə-bəl\ adjective

Examples of CONSTRUE

  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 of CONSTRUE

Middle English, from Late Latin construere, from Latin, to construct
First Known Use: 14th century


noun con·strue \ˈkän-ˌstrü\

Definition of CONSTRUE

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

First Known Use of CONSTRUE


Other Grammar and Linguistics Terms

ablaut, allusion, anacoluthon, diacritic, gerund, idiom, infinitive, metaphor, semiotics, simile
CONSTRUING Defined for Kids


verb con·strue \kən-ˈstrü\

Definition of CONSTRUE for Kids

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


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