[verb kuh n-stroo or, esp. British, kon-stroo; noun kon-stroo]
verb (used with object), con·strued, con·stru·ing.
  1. to give the meaning or intention of; explain; interpret.
  2. to deduce by inference or interpretation; infer: He construed her intentions from her gestures.
  3. to translate, especially orally.
  4. to analyze the syntax of; to rehearse the applicable grammatical rules of: to construe a sentence.
  5. to arrange or combine (words, phrases, etc.) syntactically.
verb (used without object), con·strued, con·stru·ing.
  1. to admit of grammatical analysis or interpretation.
  1. the act of construing.
  2. 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. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for unconstrued


verb -strues, -struing or -strued (mainly tr)
  1. to interpret the meaning of (something)you can construe that in different ways
  2. (may take a clause as object) to discover by inference; deduce
  3. to analyse the grammatical structure of; parse (esp a Latin or Greek text as a preliminary to translation)
  4. to combine (words) syntactically
  5. (also intr) old-fashioned to translate literally, esp aloud as an academic exercise
  1. 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 unconstrued



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