Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To form by assembling or combining parts; build.
  • transitive v. To create (an argument or a sentence, for example) by systematically arranging ideas or terms.
  • transitive v. Mathematics To draw (a geometric figure) that meets specific requirements.
  • n. Something formed or constructed from parts.
  • n. A concept, model, or schematic idea: a theoretical construct of the atom.
  • n. A concrete image or idea: "[He] began to shift focus from the haunted constructs of terror in his early work” ( Stephen Koch).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Something constructed from parts.
  • n. A concept or model.
  • v. To build or form (something) by assembling parts.
  • v. Similarly, to build (a sentence or an argument) by arranging words or ideas.
  • v. (geometry) To draw (a geometric figure) by following precise specifications and using geometric tools and techniques.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To put together the constituent parts of (something) in their proper place and order; to build; to form; to make.
  • transitive v. To devise; to invent; to set in order; to arrange.
  • adj. Formed by, or relating to, construction, interpretation, or inference.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To put together the parts of in their proper place and order; erect; build; form: as, to construct an edifice or a ship.
  • To devise and put into orderly arrangement; form by the mind; frame; fabricate; evolve the form of: as, to construct a story.
  • To interpret or understand; construe.
  • To draw, as a figure, so as to fulfil given conditions. See construction, 4.
  • To engage in or practise construction.
  • In grammar, constituting or expressing connection as governing substantive with the substantive governed.
  • n. Something constructed or created.
  • n. In compar. psychol., the mental picture answering to a real or a possible object of sense: regarded as the mental result of the action of external stimuli.
  • n. In mathematics, a configuration or surface.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an abstract or general idea inferred or derived from specific instances
  • v. reassemble mentally
  • v. put together out of artificial or natural components or parts
  • v. make by combining materials and parts
  • v. create by linking linguistic units
  • v. create by organizing and linking ideas, arguments, or concepts
  • v. draw with suitable instruments and under specified conditions

Etymologies

Latin cōnstruere, cōnstrūct- : com-, com- + struere, to pile up.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin construo ("I heap together, build, make, construct, connect grammatically"), from com- ("together") + struo ("I heap up, pile"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The title construct is a traveling show, headed by Dr. Parnassus (Christopher Plummer), and including his daughter Valentina (Lily Cole) and his various employees.

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • Crucially, at the heart of this construct is the Commission, comprised of appointed technocrats ruling as benign Platonic guardians, protecting the interests of all the peoples of Europe.

    Democracy or stability?

  • The term construct is also used to describe it, because the virus is constructed of parts and pieces of genetic code-it is a designer virus, with a particular purpose. "

    Einstein's Warning: a bioterrorist pandemic worse than a nuclear explosion

  • The president of the United States, Barack Obama, and his team, since he came into office and had to deal with financial crisis, has been dealing out of an exclusively Keynesian construct, which is to say, you create, or try to create, an enormous amount of demand to raise the economy.

    High Tea

  • What Grodin and De Niro construct is a believable friendship that grows organically out of the story, is organic to their characters, and reveals itself to be totally complementary in every way.

    Overlooked Movie Monday: Midnight Run » Scene-Stealers

  • The construct is very clever and incredibly artificial, which is pretty much the 30 Rock norm.

    Critic's Corner Thursday

  • Granted, the "36 arguments" construct is used as a structural element, incorporated literally in the form of a series of propositions and their refutations as the novel's concluding section and metaphorically by providing the novel's chapter titles, but otherwise this novel presents few surprises either formally or thematically, proceeding as a garden-variety academic satire complete with bursting egos, pretentious-sounding projects, and fierce political in-fighting.

    The New Equivocation

  • How is the consumer saving money by paying taxes in construct renewable (wind, solar) energy sources that are less robust than oil, gas, or nuclear and will ultimately increase the cost of power?

    Wonk Room » Economic Analysis: Waxman-Markey Clean Energy Act Can Cut Pollution, Create $465 Billion In Wealth A Year

  • Today, however, this cultural construct is still alive, if gradually fading, in our country.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Sex Education, Dirty Words, and the Due Process Clause

  • "The market continues to glom onto a long-term construct that suggests an eventual spillover of the equity gains into increased oil demand," wrote Jim Ritterbusch, president of trading-advisory firm Ritterbusch and Associates, in a note to clients.

    Crude Prices Rise as Oil Inventories Fall

Comments

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  • Accent the first syllable: a noun; accent the second: a verb.

    August 25, 2007