Alternative formsEdit


Borrowed from Late Latin construo, construere (to relate grammatically), from Latin construo (pile together); doublet of construct.



construe (plural construes)

  1. A translation.
  2. An interpretation.

Related termsEdit



construe (third-person singular simple present construes, present participle construing, simple past and past participle construed)

  1. (transitive) To interpret or explain the meaning of something.
    The world must construe according to its wits; this court must construe according to the law.
    Robert Bolt, A Man for All Seasons, 1954
  2. (grammar, transitive) To analyze the grammatical structure of a clause or sentence; to parse.
    • 1988, Andrew Radford, chapter 8, in Transformational grammar: a first course, Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, page 436:
      Thus, in a sentence such as:
      (113)      John considers [S Fred to be too sure of himself]
      the italicised Reflexive himself can only be construed with Fred, not with John: this follows from our assumption that non-subject Reflexives must have an antecedent within their own S. Notice, however, that in a sentence such as:
      (114)      John seems to me [S — to have perjured himself]
      himself must be construed with John.
  3. (grammar, ergative) To admit of grammatical analysis.
  4. (transitive) To translate.
  5. To infer.

Derived termsEdit



  1. ^ Construe” in John Walker, A Critical Pronouncing Dictionary [] , London: Sold by G. G. J. and J. Robinſon, Paternoſter Row; and T. Cadell, in the Strand, 1791, →OCLC, page 162: “Thoſe who ought to be the guardians of propriety are often the perverters of it. Hence Accidence for Accidents, Prepoſtor for Prepoſitor and Conſtur for Conſtrue [] ”.





  1. second-person singular present active imperative of cōnstruō