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
  1. verb
    make sense of; assign a meaning to
    synonyms: 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
    understand 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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