v. con·strued, con·stru·ing, con·strues
1. To understand or explain the meaning of (something), especially in a particular way; interpret: The waiter construed my smile as assent. The editorial construed the act as irresponsible. See Synonyms at explain.
a. To analyze the structure of (a clause or sentence).
b. To use syntactically: The noun fish can be construed as singular or plural.
3. To translate, especially aloud.
1. To analyze grammatical structure.
2. To be subject to grammatical analysis.
An interpretation or translation.
[Middle English construen, from Late Latin cōnstruere, from Latin, to build; see CONSTRUCT.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.