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constructive

[kuh n-struhk-tiv] /kənˈstrʌk tɪv/
adjective
1.
helping to improve; promoting further development or advancement (opposed to destructive):
constructive criticism.
2.
of, relating to, or of the nature of construction; structural.
3.
deduced by inference or interpretation; inferential:
constructive permission.
4.
Law. denoting an act or condition not directly expressed but inferred from other acts or conditions.
Origin of constructive
1670-1680
1670-80; < Medieval Latin constrūctīvus, equivalent to Latin constrūct(us) (see construct) + īvus -ive
Related forms
constructively, adverb
constructiveness, noun
nonconstructive, adjective
nonconstructively, adverb
nonconstructiveness, noun
quasi-constructive, adjective
quasi-constructively, adverb
unconstructive, adjective
unconstructively, adverb
Synonyms
1. productive, helpful, handy, useful.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for constructive
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Vaucanson was a man of the highest order of constructive genius.

    Self-Help Samuel Smiles
  • He is fertile in plan and constructive in method because he has creative imagination.

    Herbert Hoover Vernon Kellogg
  • The field is almost virgin, and the need for constructive programs is acute.

    College Teaching Paul Klapper
  • With a fifty-dollar teacher, constructive work was likely lacking.

  • We see at once that that doctrine was not negative but positive and constructive.

    History of Religion

    Allan Menzies
British Dictionary definitions for constructive

constructive

/kənˈstrʌktɪv/
adjective
1.
serving to build or improve; positive: constructive criticism
2.
(law) deduced by inference or construction; not expressed but inferred
3.
(law) having a deemed legal effect: constructive notice
4.
another word for structural
Derived Forms
constructively, adverb
constructiveness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for constructive
adj.

early 15c., "derived by interpretation," from Middle French constructif or from Medieval Latin constructivus, from Latin construct-, past participle stem of construere "to heap up" (see construction). Meaning "pertaining to construction" is from 1817; "having the quality of constructing" is from 1841. Related: Constructively. Constructive criticism is attested by 1841.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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