con·​struc·​tive kən-ˈstrək-tiv How to pronounce constructive (audio)
: declared such by judicial construction or interpretation
constructive fraud
: of or relating to construction or creation
: promoting improvement or development
constructive criticism
constructively adverb
constructiveness noun

Example Sentences

I tried to offer constructive criticism. Your feedback was not very constructive. The program helps people recently released from prison figure out how they can play a constructive role in society.
Recent Examples on the Web Iger told investors that recent talks with Comcast had been constructive. Etan Vlessing, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 May 2023 And of course, that's something that Congress wrestles with every year, and so our hope is that those conversations also continue and- and arrive at a constructive place MARGARET BRENNAN: So that the goal is still whole deal by June 1st. CBS News, 14 May 2023 Make good use of the constructive energies the sun and Saturn are casting down. USA TODAY, 25 Apr. 2023 Raising critters for food is a healthy, constructive activity in which the entire family can take part. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, 22 Apr. 2023 One of the best ways to identify and mitigate executive hubris is to foster a culture of constructive feedback. Ana Reed, Forbes, 18 Apr. 2023 Libra September 23-October 22 A criticism that was meant to be constructive can strike a nerve for you. Tarot Astrologers, Chicago Tribune, 9 Apr. 2023 Ultimately, Holdsworth’s hope is that the negotiations in Sherman Oaks reach a constructive conclusion. K.j. Yossman, Variety, 7 Apr. 2023 After the performance, all four coaches offered kudos and constructive criticism to the singers. Mary Colurso |, al, 7 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'constructive.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1680, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of constructive was circa 1680

Dictionary Entries Near constructive

Cite this Entry

“Constructive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


con·​struc·​tive kən-ˈstrək-tiv How to pronounce constructive (audio)
: helping to develop or improve something
constructive suggestions
constructively adverb
constructiveness noun

Legal Definition


con·​struc·​tive kən-ˈstrək-tiv How to pronounce constructive (audio)
: created by a legal fiction: as
: inferred by a judicial construction or interpretation
: not actual but implied by operation of the law
made a constructive entry when he refused to take the opportunity for a voluntary departureHarvard Law Review
compare actual
constructively adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on constructive

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