con·​struc·​tive | \ kən-ˈstrək-tiv How to pronounce constructive (audio) \

Definition of constructive

1 : declared such by judicial construction or interpretation constructive fraud
2 : of or relating to construction or creation
3 : promoting improvement or development constructive criticism

Other Words from constructive

constructively adverb
constructiveness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for constructive



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Examples of constructive in a Sentence

I tried to offer constructive criticism. Your feedback was not very constructive. The program helps people recently released from prison figure out how they can play a constructive role in society.
Recent Examples on the Web Even those who are open to feedback get worn down from an overabundance of constructive criticism. Nicole Lipkin, Forbes, 19 July 2022 Now, you're possibly left with a choice between taking their constructive criticism and applying it, or deciding that your initial instinct was correct after all. Chicago Tribune, 17 July 2022 That would be a more constructive way to view trends in Latin America, rather than overinterpreting state visits, speeches and announcements that may never come true. Jorge G. Castañeda, CNN, 18 Feb. 2022 But there’s a less combative and arguably more constructive way to put that passion to use: Actively listen to employees, seek their input on an impact strategy, and connect that strategy to every worker’s job. Daianna Karaian, Quartz, 10 Nov. 2021 But what’s the point of searching her psyche for answers when the more constructive way of understanding the Epstein case is as an extreme example of our criminal justice system failing to hold powerful people accountable? Judy Berman, Time, 24 June 2021 Be honest with yourself and heed constructive criticism. Dave Cantin, Forbes, 30 June 2022 Rice supposedly never even received any constructive criticism. Claudia Eller, Variety, 15 June 2022 After listening to constructive criticism from fans about her word choice in one of her songs, Lizzo took action and changed the lyrics. Rosa Sanchez, Harper's BAZAAR, 14 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'constructive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of constructive

circa 1680, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for constructive

Time Traveler

The first known use of constructive was circa 1680

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Dictionary Entries Near constructive

construction wrench


constructive catabolism

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Statistics for constructive

Last Updated

23 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Constructive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for constructive


con·​struc·​tive | \ kən-ˈstrək-tiv How to pronounce constructive (audio) \

Kids Definition of constructive

: helping to develop or improve something constructive criticism

Other Words from constructive

constructively adverb


con·​struc·​tive | \ kən-ˈstrək-tiv How to pronounce constructive (audio) \

Legal Definition of constructive

: created by a legal fiction: as
a : inferred by a judicial construction or interpretation
b : not actual but implied by operation of the law made a constructive entry when he refused to take the opportunity for a voluntary departureHarvard Law Review — compare actual

Other Words from constructive

constructively adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on constructive

Nglish: Translation of constructive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of constructive for Arabic Speakers


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