If you interpret something or make sense of it, you construe its meaning. If the new girl in your class asks to sit with you at lunch, you could construe that she wants to be friends. You can never have too many friends!

To make an assumption based on evidence is to construe. You could construe that eating an entire box of cookies might make you feel a bit sick. And you might not want to eat them again for a very long time. The opposite of construe is misconstrue, which means to falsely or wrongly interpret. If you get a poor grade on an essay, you shouldn't construe that your teacher dislikes you. If you do, you misconstrue your work for his feelings.

Definitions of construe

v make sense of; assign a meaning to

interpret, see
consider, reckon, regard, see, view
deem to be
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be amiss, misapprehend, misconceive, misconstrue, misinterpret, misunderstand
interpret in the wrong way
read between the lines
read what is implied but not expressed on the surface
mythicise, mythicize
interpret as a myth or in terms of mythology
literalise, literalize
make literal
spiritualise, spiritualize
give a spiritual meaning to; read in a spiritual sense
assign a new or different meaning to
allegorise, allegorize
interpret as an allegory
read, take
interpret something in a certain way; convey a particular meaning or impression
interpret something that is written or printed
read, scan
obtain data from magnetic tapes
draw out, educe, elicit, evoke, extract
deduce (a principle) or construe (a meaning)
misinterpret, misread
interpret wrongly
anagram, anagrammatise, anagrammatize
read letters out of order to discover a hidden meaning
read anew; read again
dip into
read selectively; read only certain passages from a text
decipher, trace
read with difficulty
read or interpret wrongly
skim, skim over
read superficially
lip-read, lipread, speech-read
interpret by lipreading; of deaf people
Type of:
know and comprehend the nature or meaning of

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