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construe

[v. kuh n-stroo or, esp. British, kon-stroo; n. kon-stroo] /v. kənˈstru or, esp. British, ˈkɒn stru; n. ˈkɒn stru/
verb (used with object), construed, construing.
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), construed, construing.
6.
to admit of grammatical analysis or interpretation.
noun
7.
the act of construing.
8.
something that is construed.
Origin
1325-1375
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 forms
construer, noun
unconstrued, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for construe
  • No one with both working brain hemispheres could construe that as suggesting that anything had been proven.
  • It be invigorating to construe knowledge off their writers and pattern a slight something from their keep.
  • To construe the grammarian's description this way would be to confuse an account of competence with a theory of performance.
  • The applicable retirement statutes, regulations, and decided cases that construe them are the governing law.
British Dictionary definitions for construe

construe

/kənˈstruː/
verb (mainly transitive) -strues, -struing, -strued
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 intransitive) (old-fashioned) to translate literally, esp aloud as an academic exercise
noun
6.
(old-fashioned) something that is construed, such as a piece of translation
Derived Forms
construable, adjective
construability, noun
construer, noun
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for construe
v.

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
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