[verb kuh n-stroo or, esp. British, kon-stroo; noun kon-stroo]

verb (used with object), con·strued, con·stru·ing.

verb (used without object), con·strued, con·stru·ing.

to admit of grammatical analysis or interpretation.


the act of construing.
something that is construed.

Origin of construe

1325–75; Middle English construen < Latin construere to put together, build, equivalent to con- con- + struere to pile up, arrange, perhaps akin to sternere to spread, strew; see stratum
Related formscon·stru·er, nounun·con·strued, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for construed

Contemporary Examples of construed

Historical Examples of construed

  • By the most liberal interpretation no phrase of his could be construed as a reflection on the stranger.

  • The word has however been construed “chief spearmen,” and “of the stock of.”

    Y Gododin


  • They partake of the imperfect nature of language, and must not be construed in too strict a manner.



  • I would not only shun every evil, but every appearance of evil, or what might be construed into an appearance.

  • Lambert gave him the benefit of the doubt and construed him to mean his own.

British Dictionary definitions for construed


verb -strues, -struing or -strued (mainly tr)

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
Derived Formsconstruable, adjectiveconstruability, nounconstruer, noun

Word Origin for construe

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 construed



late 14c., from Late Latin construere "to relate grammatically," in classical Latin "to build up, pile together" (see construction); also see construct (v.), which is a later acquisition of the same word. Related: Construed; construing; construal.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper