[verb kuh n-stroo or, esp. British, kon-stroo; noun kon-stroo]
- to give the meaning or intention of; explain; interpret.
- to deduce by inference or interpretation; infer: He construed her intentions from her gestures.
- to translate, especially orally.
- to analyze the syntax of; to rehearse the applicable grammatical rules of: to construe a sentence.
- to arrange or combine (words, phrases, etc.) syntactically.
- to admit of grammatical analysis or interpretation.
- the act of construing.
- something that is construed.
Origin of construe
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for construe
But you must not, my dearest friend, construe common gratitude into love.Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)
And even if he had, we must not construe any trifling peculiarity into madness.Barnaby Rudge
But however you construe the hierograph, the door must be demolished before you get out.The Paliser case
There—I believe I can construe that passage as well as Porson.Letters of Edward FitzGerald
She has been used to her father's abstraction, and does not construe it into any slight.Floyd Grandon's Honor
Amanda Minnie Douglas
- to interpret the meaning of (something)you can construe that in different ways
- (may take a clause as object) to discover by inference; deduce
- to analyse the grammatical structure of; parse (esp a Latin or Greek text as a preliminary to translation)
- to combine (words) syntactically
- (also intr) old-fashioned to translate literally, esp aloud as an academic exercise
- old-fashioned something that is construed, such as a piece of translation
C14: from Latin construere to pile up; see construct
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
Word Origin and History for construe
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper