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[mis-kuh n-stroo or, esp. British, mis-kon-stroo] /ˌmɪs kənˈstru or, esp. British, mɪsˈkɒn stru/
verb (used with object), misconstrued, misconstruing.
to misunderstand the meaning of; take in a wrong sense; misinterpret.
Origin of misconstrue
Middle English word dating back to 1350-1400; See origin at mis-1, construe
misread, misapprehend, misjudge. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for misconstrue
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • As for being straightforward, don't they misconstrue our words continually?

    Robert Orange John Oliver Hobbes
  • And, lest he might misconstrue her remark, she avoided his eyes.

    A Modern Chronicle, Complete Winston Churchill
  • Did I misconstrue your thoughts when you looked at me in the Queen's boudoir?

    Cinq Mars, Complete Alfred de Vigny
  • Theirs was an anxiety I should have been blind to misconstrue.

  • Your jealous fancy causes you to misconstrue what you saw and heard.

    Odette's Marriage Albert Delpit
  • I acted on the impulse of affection, and I am sure you will not misconstrue my motives.

    Frederic Chopin, v. 1 (of 2) Moritz Karasowski
  • If they misconstrued Mary's motive, let us beware lest we misconstrue theirs.

  • But we must not misconstrue words in our versions of a style so loose.

    The Apostles Ernest Renan
British Dictionary definitions for misconstrue


verb -strues, -struing, -strued
(transitive) to interpret mistakenly
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 misconstrue

late 14c., "to put a wrong construction on" (words or deeds), from mis- (1) + construe. Related: Misconstrued; misconstruing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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