mis·con·strue | \ˌmis-kən-ˈstrü \
misconstrued; misconstruing

Definition of misconstrue 

transitive verb

1 : to interpret (something, such as a statement or action) wrongly : misinterpret misconstrued her words/meaning/silence He does not want his real name used in the newspaper because even the most innocent statement could be misconstrued here and lead to trouble, he says.— Lynne Duke I instantly turned away, lest he should see and misconstrue my emotion.— Anne Brontë

2 : to misinterpret the meaning, intention, or character of (someone) … it is the post-Vietnam revisionists who have most ironically misconstrued [Herman] Melville.— Frederick Crews … a sad sack whom no one would misconstrue as charming.— Karen Karbo

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Examples of misconstrue in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The three shared an unusual relationship, one that young Jennifer misconstrued. Sara Aridi, New York Times, "What’s on TV Saturday: ‘The Tale’ and ‘From Here to Eternity’," 26 May 2018 Although the two fields do not share an abundance of similarities, both pro wrestling and pro fighting are team sports often misconstrued as individual endeavors. Justin Barrasso, SI.com, "For CM Punk, Defamation Trial Proved to Be a Blessing in Disguise for UFC 225 Training," 7 June 2018 On the other hand, jurors heard testimony that could have caused them to question whether Punk exaggerated or misconstrued the severity of the injury in order to defame Amann. Michael Mccann, SI.com, "What Were the Key Factors Behind CM Punk Winning His Defamation Trial?," 5 June 2018 Introverted leaders prefer to think things through before speaking up or moving forward, which is often misconstrued for shyness, even disinterest. CBS News, "Introverts and the making of a "Quiet Revolution"," 8 July 2018 Reuters, the poll being cited by Trump in his claim, says its data is being misconstrued. Angela Helm, The Root, "We Knew When Trump Said His Numbers Doubled Among the Blacks That He Was Lying. Here’s Why," 8 May 2018 The majority holds otherwise by ignoring the facts, misconstruing our legal precedent, and turning a blind eye to the pain and suffering the Proclamation inflicts upon countless families and individuals, many of whom are United States citizens. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "Sotomayor read Trump’s tweets too and wants to know why the rest of the Supreme Court didn’t.," 26 June 2018 Patterson has denied any wrongdoing in an open letter, saying his comments and actions have been misconstrued. Daniel Burke, CNN, "'A foretaste of the wrath of God:' Southern Baptists to confront scandals at national meeting," 11 June 2018 Tesla refuted Tripp's claims to being a whistleblower and said his claims are exaggerated or misconstrued. Drew Harwell, Anchorage Daily News, "Saboteur or whistleblower? Battle between Elon Musk and former Tesla employee turns ugly, exposing internal rancor," 22 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'misconstrue.' 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 misconstrue

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

19 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for misconstrue

The first known use of misconstrue was in the 15th century

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