re·​con·​struc·​tion | \ ˌrē-kən-ˈstrək-shən How to pronounce reconstruction (audio) \
plural reconstructions

Definition of reconstruction

1a : the action of reconstructing : the act or process of rebuilding, repairing, or restoring something reconstruction efforts to repair hurricane damage the reconstruction of the dam the reconstruction of postwar Europe
b Reconstruction, in U.S. history : the period from 1865 to 1877 in which the southern states that had seceded during the American Civil War rejoined the United States
c medical : repair of an organ or body part by reconstructive surgery knee/ligament reconstruction
2a : the re-creation or reimagining of something from the past especially by using information acquired through research the historical reconstruction of an ancient village the newspaper's reconstruction of the events
b : a technical process by which scientific principles and techniques are applied to physical evidence in order to create an accurate reenactment or understanding of a past occurrence or event (such as an accident) technology used in crime scene reconstruction

Examples of reconstruction in a Sentence

the reconstruction of the dam the reconstruction of postwar Europe reconstruction of the health-care system They were able to determine the cause of the accident by careful reconstruction of the events leading up to it. The police staged a reconstruction of the crime.
Recent Examples on the Web These findings, first published by El País in 2020, were based on a reconstruction of Shakira’s schedule, such as public sightings by fans and photographers. Amy Cheng, Washington Post, 30 July 2022 Fans of design should head straight to the second floor, featuring a reconstruction of the designer’s couture salons, dating to the 1930s and designed by Jean-Michel Frank. Rima Suqi, ELLE Decor, 27 July 2022 Hayward Field, with a $270-million reconstruction funded primarily by Nike co-founder Phil Knight, is eye-catchingly palatial but smaller than venues that have hosted past championships in such locales as London, Moscow, Beijing and Doha, Qatar. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, 24 July 2022 Before starting the Night Wolves, Zaldostanov had reportedly been a successful facial reconstruction doctor in the 1980s—hence his nickname—according to a detailed profile by Vice in 2015. Tristan Bove, Fortune, 22 July 2022 The agency’s cash is close to running out, and local officials have earmarked the settlement funds for reconstruction, not debt repayment. Matt Wirz, WSJ, 22 July 2022 The Nationals dealt Scherzer and shortstop Trea Turner to the Dodgers last summer, officially signaling a reconstruction. New York Times, 19 July 2022 By Air often revolved around the reconstruction of staples. José Criales-unzueta, Vogue, 18 July 2022 Skull reconstruction from a CT-scan of a black woodpecker (Dryocopus martius). Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 15 July 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of reconstruction

1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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The first known use of reconstruction was in 1594

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Last Updated

1 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Reconstruction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for reconstruction


re·​con·​struc·​tion | \ ˌrē-kən-ˈstrək-shən How to pronounce reconstruction (audio) \

Medical Definition of reconstruction

: repair of an organ or part by reconstructive surgery breast reconstruction



Legal Definition of reconstruction

1 : a rebuilding of a nonfunctional patented article that amounts to creation of a new article and constitutes infringement of the patent the complete replacement of the mechanism was a reconstruction and not a repair
2 : the practice or process of recreating an incident (as an accident) for the purpose of investigating the specific facts and circumstances surrounding it heard testimony on the speed of the vehicle from an expert in accident reconstruction


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