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deconstruction

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noun de·con·struc·tion \ˌdē-kən-ˈstrək-shən\

Simple Definition of deconstruction

  • : a theory used in the study of literature or philosophy which says that a piece of writing does not have just one meaning and that the meaning depends on the reader

Full Definition of deconstruction

  1. 1 :  a philosophical or critical method which asserts that meanings, metaphysical constructs, and hierarchical oppositions (as between key terms in a philosophical or literary work) are always rendered unstable by their dependence on ultimately arbitrary signifiers; also :  an instance of the use of this method <a deconstruction of the nature–culture opposition in Rousseau's work>

  2. 2 :  the analytic examination of something (as a theory) often in order to reveal its inadequacy

Examples of deconstruction

  1. <a lengthy deconstruction of the president's speech by a panel of pundits>



Origin of deconstruction

French déconstruction, from dé- de- + construction


First Known Use: 1973


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