de·​con·​struct | \ˌdē-kən-ˈstrəkt \

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 \ -​tiv \ adjective
deconstructor \ -​tər \ noun

Examples of deconstruct in a Sentence

deconstructing the economic theories of John Maynard Keynes

Recent Examples on the Web

So was Detail, his show for ESPN, deconstructing video of individual NBA playoff performances this spring. Lee Jenkins,, "Fantastic Voyage: Kobe Bryant Is Now an Entertainment Mogul with a Friendlier Mission," 12 July 2018 These two smart young women take on the world, with their signature satirical voice while deconstructing popular culture, social classes, gender and race. Daniel Holloway,, "MTV launches studio, sets 'Daria,' 'Real World,' 'Aeon Flux' revivals," 21 June 2018 This is definitely not an exhibition that deconstructs Giacometti, and any revisionism will have to await a sequel. Jason Farago, New York Times, "Giacometti: Beguiled by Thin Men and Women," 6 June 2018 We in the media love to deconstruct Father’s Day with those bad father stories. John Kass,, "What not to get dad for Father's Day," 15 June 2018 In the months since, Wardle has worked on and off to deconstruct that emoji mystery. Andy Greenberg, WIRED, "Apple's China-Friendly Censorship Caused an iPhone-Crashing Bug," 10 July 2018 To understand, let’s deconstruct a product that actually moisturizes — a lotion — and its three major umbrella ingredients: humectants, occlusives, and emollients. Ashley Weatherford, The Cut, "Everything You Need to Know About Putting Oils on Your Face," 12 July 2018 Adele deconstructs the 1989 Cure classic and turns it into a Latin-tinged torch song. Chuck Arnold, Billboard, "Every Adele Song Ranked: Critic's Picks," 4 May 2018 But last night, rather than dig into the lengthy show notes and deconstruct the references, the Raf enthusiasts were content to take another sip of wine, look at some fantastic clothes, and enjoy the party. The Editors Of Gq Style, GQ, "Raf Simons Hosts Another Legendary New York Fashion Week: Men’s Show with Waffles, Wine, and Drugs," 8 Feb. 2018

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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Last Updated

22 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for deconstruct

The first known use of deconstruct was in 1973

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playful or foolish behavior

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