con·​struc·​tive kən-ˈstrək-tiv How to pronounce constructive (audio)
: declared such by judicial construction or interpretation
constructive fraud
: of or relating to construction or creation
: promoting improvement or development
constructive criticism
constructively adverb
constructiveness noun

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 Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive. Ken Makin, The Christian Science Monitor, 22 Nov. 2023 Speaking of OpenAI, Emmett Shear, the organization’s former interim CEO, recently made bold predictions that AI will inevitably replace the CEO role, especially tasks related to communication, problem and opportunity detection, talent identification, and providing constructive feedback. Paige McGlauflin, Fortune, 22 Nov. 2023 Hopefully people keep it constructive and positive. Katcy Stephan, Variety, 17 Nov. 2023 With healthy accommodation, a partner attempts to respond with a positive, constructive approach and a willingness to prioritize the relationship over individual differences. Mark Travers, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 All the defendants are being sued for unjust enrichment and constructive trust. Chuck Schilken, Los Angeles Times, 13 Nov. 2023 Overcoming the fear of potential social or academic repercussions, along with the support of campus leadership, is essential for students to express their perspectives and contribute to a constructive dialogue. Benjamin Weinthal, Fox News, 11 Nov. 2023 Having some time in groups and some time on your own seems to be the most constructive. Geoff Colvin, Fortune, 6 Nov. 2023 In the process, the two forge a deep bond, of major practical consequence, that proves Paul’s virtues as a teacher and sets Angus on a constructive path. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, 31 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'constructive.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1680, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of constructive was circa 1680

Dictionary Entries Near constructive

Cite this Entry

“Constructive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


con·​struc·​tive kən-ˈstrək-tiv How to pronounce constructive (audio)
: helping to develop or improve something
constructive suggestions
constructively adverb
constructiveness noun

Legal Definition


con·​struc·​tive kən-ˈstrək-tiv How to pronounce constructive (audio)
: created by a legal fiction: as
: inferred by a judicial construction or interpretation
: 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
constructively adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on constructive

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