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Definition of "construe" [con•strue]

  • To adduce or explain the meaning of; interpret: construed my smile as assent. See Synonyms at explain. (verb-transitive)
  • Grammar To analyze the structure of (a clause or sentence). (verb-transitive)
  • Grammar To use syntactically: The noun fish can be construed as singular or plural. (verb-transitive)
  • To translate, especially aloud. (verb-transitive)
  • To analyze grammatical structure. (verb-intransitive)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "construe" in a sentence
  • ""no prudent person will deny that there is need of many supplements and explanations from other writings" than the Bible, to the end, namely, that a person may construe from the German Bibles the true Catholic faith."
  • "[Footnote 1: The vulgar pronunciation of the word construe is here intended."
  • "As I've explained, the Administration bill would purport to "construe" Common Article 3 of Geneva to prohibit only what the McCain Amendment prohibits (and to cut off any judicial review that might overturn that implausible interpretation of Common Article 3)."