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.
- con·stru·er, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use construe in a sentence
At one of his rallies, Kivalov reportedly gave out packages with food items and money, which investigators construe to be bribes.
Can any of your readers tell me whence comes the following Sotadic Elegiac poem, and construe it for me?
I would not appear to dictate, but do you not fear Mr. Purcell may construe your non-attendance into disrespect to himself?Alone | Marion Harland
Read over the Ovid to Jefferson, and construe about ten lines more.The Life and Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Volume I (of 2) | Florence A. Thomas Marshall
After dinner construe Ovid (100 lines); finish second book of Spenser, and read two cantos of the third.The Life and Letters of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Volume I (of 2) | Florence A. Thomas Marshall
Some refer to Minerva, and construe the passage with reference to the Panathenaic celebration.Studies on Homer and the Homeric Age, Vol. 1 of 3 | W. E. Gladstone
British Dictionary definitions for construe
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
- construable, adjective
- construability, noun
- construer, 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