- helping to improve; promoting further development or advancement (opposed to destructive): constructive criticism.
- of, relating to, or of the nature of construction; structural.
- deduced by inference or interpretation; inferential: constructive permission.
- Law. denoting an act or condition not directly expressed but inferred from other acts or conditions.
Origin of constructive
- serving to build or improve; positiveconstructive criticism
- law deduced by inference or construction; not expressed but inferred
- law having a deemed legal effectconstructive notice
- another word for structural
Word Origin and History for nonconstructive
early 15c., "derived by interpretation," from Middle French constructif or from Medieval Latin constructivus, from Latin construct-, past participle stem of construere "to heap up" (see construction). Meaning "pertaining to construction" is from 1817; "having the quality of constructing" is from 1841. Related: Constructively. Constructive criticism is attested by 1841.