[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 construes
That Campfield construes gayness to be a dangerous act may be rooted in his faulty understanding of HIV and AIDS.‘Don’t Say Gay’ Is Back: 5 Things to Know About the Tennessee Bill
January 31, 2013
No thought on our part connects and construes the low, gentle voices.The Caxtons, Complete
He construes the give and take of the debate-game with extreme rigour.
Dodge, too, takes cognisance of an impulse and construes a motive.The Sunset Trail
Alfred Henry Lewis
The two pounds he construes to be the reason and understanding.Commentary on Genesis, Vol. I
He construes treaties and asserts the rights of our government and our citizens under them.Ethics in Service
William Howard Taft
- 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 construes
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper