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 U.S. 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Harris, a graduate of Vestavia Hills High School, was pronounced dead on the scene at 6:22 p.m. Irondale police, assisted by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office traffic accident reconstruction team responded to the crash site. Carol Robinson |, al, 7 June 2021 But critics say the conditions are too onerous and have effectively hobbled previous reconstruction efforts. Los Angeles Times, 5 June 2021 The menu has gone through a similar reconstruction, undergoing an upscaling that reflects not just a higher level of cuisine but a higher standard for seafood. Eric E. Harrison, Arkansas Online, 20 May 2021 The Torrington Police Department’s accident reconstruction team is investigating the crash. Christine Dempsey,, 19 May 2021 The Central Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council accident reconstruction team is investigating., 12 Apr. 2021 Favorable weather helped accelerate reconstruction efforts, Caltrans officials said. Meena Thiruvengadam, Travel + Leisure, 9 Apr. 2021 Despite the devastation caused by the Great Chicago Fire, the resilient city rose from the ashes as reconstruction efforts spurred great economic development, including the world’s first skyscrapers, and a population boom. Michael Loré, Forbes, 26 Feb. 2021 As president, Mulnix's long list of duties befits the ambitious scope of the university, from overseeing mammoth reconstruction efforts of Saddam-era palaces three years ago, to hiring staff, managing food services and paying utility bills. Samya Kullab, Star Tribune, 15 Feb. 2021

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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Time Traveler for reconstruction

Time Traveler

The first known use of reconstruction was in 1594

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Statistics for reconstruction

Last Updated

14 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Reconstruction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for reconstruction



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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