re·​con·​struc·​tion | \ ˌrē-kən-ˈstrək-shən \

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

The original reconstruction project called for a large-scale mitigation plan that included a fleet of buses ferrying displaced riders over the Williamsburg Bridge and a busway along 14th Street. Paul Berger, WSJ, "Nighttime, Weekend Commuters Will Still Be Affected by L Train Plan," 13 Feb. 2019 The $200 million reconstruction project reanimated the gigantic warehouse facility. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Memphis downtown boom fueled by riverfront city’s rich history," 25 Sep. 2018 Hartford’s Union Station — a center of transportation in the city for 130 years — could hold on to a bit of that heritage even if the rail line is moved as part of the massive I-84 reconstruction project. Kenneth R. Gosselin, Courant Community, "Hartford's Union Station May Be Used By CTfastrak Under Redevelopment Plan," 9 July 2018 Tolls have increased every year since 2009, in part to pay for a long-term turnpike reconstruction project and to handle debt service. Jason Laughlin,, "Pennsylvania Turnpike tolls to increase 6% in 2019," 3 July 2018 One morning this spring, Byford visited a reconstruction project: the Cortlandt Street station on the 1 line, which was destroyed in the September 11th terrorist attacks. William Finnegan, The New Yorker, "Can Andy Byford Save the Subways?," 2 July 2018 But his coalition made ambitious promises: ending endemic corruption and embarking on reconstruction projects to repair tens of billions of dollars in damages left by the Islamic State, whose fighters have now largely been driven from Iraq. New York Times, "Iraqi Court Backs Recount of All Ballots Cast in Last Month’s Elections," 21 June 2018 The woman was also stabbed and suffered a broken jaw, which required facial reconstruction surgery. Greg Norman, Fox News, "Georgia man sentenced to life in prison for Tasering own young children in vicious attack," 13 Sep. 2018 The reconstruction surgery came three years after Stubblefield shot herself in the face with a rifle in an attempt to take her own life. Chloe Metzger, Marie Claire, "Katie Stubblefield Is the Youngest Person in the U.S. to Get a Face Transplant​," 14 Aug. 2018

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

18 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for reconstruction

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 \

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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