de·​con·​struct | \ ˌdē-kən-ˈstrəkt How to pronounce deconstruct (audio) \
deconstructed; deconstructing; deconstructs

Definition of deconstruct

transitive verb

1 : to examine (something, such as a work of literature) using the methods of deconstruction
2 : to take apart or examine (something) in order to reveal the basis or composition often with the intention of exposing biases, flaws, or inconsistencies deconstruct the myths of both the left and the right— Wayne Karlin
3 : to adapt or separate the elements of for use in an ironic or radically new way uses his masterly tailoring skills to deconstruct the classicsVogue
4 : destroy, demolish nations that are deconstructing themselves— Jim Hoagland

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Other Words from deconstruct

deconstructive \ ˌdē-​kən-​ˈstrək-​tiv How to pronounce deconstructive (audio) \ adjective
deconstructor \ ˌdē-​kən-​ˈstrək-​tər How to pronounce deconstructor (audio) \ noun

Examples of deconstruct in a Sentence

deconstructing the economic theories of John Maynard Keynes
Recent Examples on the Web Yes, college is supposed to teach us how to deconstruct a piece of literature, think about our political reality, analyze genome data, and build robots. C. Brandon Ogbunu, Wired, "The Flagrant Hypocrisy of Bungled College Reopenings," 2 Sep. 2020 This wasn’t the only scene for which An was willing to deconstruct some shoes. Irina Grechko,, "The Best Trends Of The ‘90s Are Brought Back To Life In Julie And The Phantoms," 12 Sep. 2020 Now McDonkey isn’t solo in his effort to deconstruct pop imagery. Jason Parham, Wired, "The Wonderful Instagram World Where Thor Is a Drag Performer," 6 Aug. 2020 Over the next several years, the Sipson Island Trust hopes to incorporate the remaining eight acres of land, deconstruct three of the four structures standing on the island, and build an open-air research and education center, per CNN. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, "Cape Cod Island Opens to the Public for the First Time in 300 Years," 31 July 2020 Stewart can deconstruct and satirize that language as well as anyone. cleveland, "Jon Stewart’s off-key political comedy, starring Steve Carell, is far from ‘Irresistible’," 25 June 2020 With calls for non-Black people of color to educate their communities in the wake of nationwide #BlackLivesMatter protests, there has been a reckoning among young Asian Americans trying to deconstruct their own families’ anti-Blackness. NBC News, "How protests led to a critique of Bollywood's colorism and a reckoning for South Asians," 23 June 2020 But the book’s pauses of white space and radical changes in font and text size force the reader to stop and really consider what is being deconstructed. Kaitlyn Greenidge, New York Times, "Can You Dismantle White Supremacy With Words?," 6 Mar. 2020 Finally, the virtual material is deconstructed into real materials that consist of elements that are all smaller than the sound waves of interest. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Hollow corkscrews may put a cork in noisy ventilation," 14 Apr. 2020

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

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First Known Use of deconstruct

1973, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for deconstruct

Time Traveler

The first known use of deconstruct was in 1973

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Statistics for deconstruct

Last Updated

7 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Deconstruct.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on deconstruct

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for deconstruct

Nglish: Translation of deconstruct for Spanish Speakers

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