Definition of construe
1 : to analyze the arrangement and connection of words in (a sentence or sentence part) construe this Latin sentence by Cicero
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 Her frustration was construed as anger.
: to construe a sentence or sentence part especially in connection with translating
construableplay \kən-ˈstrü-ə-bəl\ adjective
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Examples of construe in a Sentence
The way the court construes various words has changed over time.
the role of the justices of the Supreme Court in construing the constitution
Recent Examples of construe from the Web
A few others, well, construed Garfield's thoughts another way entirely.
The league reasoned that his comments could have been construed as an attempt to induce Duncan to sign with the Bulls.
This order, properly construed, should really allow for only the narrowest implementation of any part of the ban.
Law Director Luke McConville warned throughout the discussion that federal law prohibits talk that might be construed as negotiation in a public setting.
After the trial, examination of the pre-trial jury questionnaires led the Cincinnati Enquirer to speculate that several jurors on the panel exhibited opinions that could be construed as racially biased.
The optics of any move that could be construed as hiding are terrible.
That could be construed as a win for Trump: The appeals court said a federal judge in Hawaii was wrong to restrict his administration from conducting such a review.
In the world of Twin Peaks, a number of things can be construed as red herrings.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'construe'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Construe can usually be translated as "interpret". It's often used in law; thus, an Attorney General might construe the term "serious injury" in a child-abuse law to include bruises, or a judge might construe language about gifts to "heirs" to include spouses. The IRS's construal of some of your activities might be different from your own—and much more expensive at tax time. Construing is also close to translating; so when the British say "public school", for instance, it should be construed or translated as "prep school" in American terms.
Origin and Etymology of construe
Middle English, from Late Latin construere, from Latin, to construct
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
First Known Use of construe
CONSTRUE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of construe for English Language Learners
: to understand (an action, event, remark, etc.) in a particular way
: to understand the meaning of (a word, phrase, or sentence)
CONSTRUE Defined for Kids
Definition of construe for Students
: to understand or explain the sense or intention of He mistakenly construed my actions as unfriendly.
Seen and Heard
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