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

Definition of reconstruction

1a : the action of reconstructing : the state of being reconstructed
b often capitalized : the reorganization and reestablishment of the seceded states in the Union after the American Civil War
2 : something reconstructed

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Roadway and bridge work will close multiple lanes of eastbound and westbound I-285 in the overnight hours the next few days, part of the continuing reconstruction of the I-285/Ga. David Ibata, ajc, "GDOT sets I-285 lane, ramp closures in Perimeter area," 30 June 2019 The eyewitness accounts are part of a detailed reconstruction of the deadly explosion that killed seven people — including two small children — at the Flower Branch Apartments in Silver Spring on Aug. 10, 2016. Steve Thompson, Washington Post, "How federal investigators pieced together the deadly Flower Branch explosion," 28 June 2019 Much of the reconstruction is being done below the waterline, including a new keel that will run the length of the boat. Brian Macquarrie,, "A version of the boat that carried the Pilgrims from the Mayflower to the shore is getting a makeover," 23 June 2019 The study probably would not have been done without it because our town was dealing with a lot of infrastructure reconstruction after the (2013) flood. Justin Wingerter, The Denver Post, "Colorado’s ICE restrictions could earn it “sanctuary” label and jeopardize federal grants," 21 June 2019 The Rebuild Foundation posted photos of the reconstruction on Instagram. Evan Macdonald,, "Gazebo where Tamir Rice was shot by Cleveland police being rebuilt as memorial in Chicago," 20 June 2019 The middle vault will be the first stage of the reconstruction. Fox News, "US donors have been footing Notre Dame work bills instead of French tycoons," 15 June 2019 To start, Trump and his top advisers are not planning a large-scale invasion and reconstruction of Iran as George W. Bush’s administration did with Iraq in the aftermath of Sept. 11. Eli Lake, Twin Cities, "Eli Lake: Don’t blame Trump for Iran’s aggression," 20 June 2019 The 112-page complaint, which was filed in October 2017, reads less like a legal document and more like one of those book-length reconstructions of actual events, where the reader knows the awful outcome and still turns each page. Ron Kampeas,, "This Jewish lawyer wants to break the back of the violent white nationalist movement," 18 June 2019

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.

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First Known Use of reconstruction

1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Last Updated

8 Jul 2019

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The first known use of reconstruction was in 1594

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English Language Learners Definition of reconstruction

: the act or process of building something that was damaged or destroyed again
: the process of putting something (such as a country) back into a good condition
: a process in which an event or series of events is carefully examined in order to find out or show exactly what happened


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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characterized by aphorism

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