A lot vs. Alot: 9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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.
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.
verb (used without object), construed, construing.
to admit of grammatical analysis or interpretation.
the act of construing.
something that is construed.
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 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for construed
  • AN orchid plant might be construed as one of nature's miracles.
  • Demonstrated ability to teach courses related to coastal management broadly construed.
  • You're right: the reference to place of birth could be construed as xenophobic, not racist.
  • How that ever got construed to apply to corporations in the first place is beyond me.
  • Mason directed protesters to relinquish items that could be construed as weapons, even a pocketbook nail file.
  • The remark need not be construed into an insinuation that the work of last evening does not deserve to have larger audiences.
  • The vigorous head shaking that followed was construed by the priests as permission to proceed with the knife.
  • All the more reason to wonder whether this election can be construed as a national plebiscite on net neutrality.
  • Scripts were revised to delete material that might be construed as insensitive.
  • Criticism of out-dated practice is not to be construed immoral.
British Dictionary definitions for construed


verb (mainly transitive) -strues, -struing, -strued
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 intransitive) (old-fashioned) to translate literally, esp aloud as an academic exercise
(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
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Word Origin and History for construed



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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