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Construe   /kənstrˈu/   Listen
Construe

verb
(past & past part. construed; pres. part. construing)
1.
Make sense of; assign a meaning to.  Synonyms: interpret, see.  "How do you interpret his behavior?"



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"Construe" Quotes from Famous Books



... Arabs, even more precious. Another thing he pointed out to them, the Arabs were a singularly inquisitive people and if they came upon a ship in the desert they would probably talk about it; and the world having a wickedly malicious tongue would never construe in its proper light their difference with the English and Spanish fleets, but would merely side with the strong against ...
— Tales of Wonder • Lord Dunsany

... is possible to construe the development in two ways: the paintings may be regarded as originally totemic or other clan marks, and as afterwards employed as ornaments, or the order of movement may be taken to be in the reverse direction; but when we consider the primitive character ...
— Introduction to the History of Religions - Handbooks on the History of Religions, Volume IV • Crawford Howell Toy

... (Rev. J. Birch, of St. Neot's Hall, Oxford,) is partner with his father the Doctor, and takes some of the classes. About his Greek I can't say much; but I will construe him in Latin any day. A more supercilious little prig, (giving himself airs, too, about his cousin, Miss Raby, who lives with the Doctor,) a more empty, pompous little coxcomb I never saw. His white neck-cloth looked as if it choked him. He used to ...
— The Christmas Books • William Makepeace Thackeray

... obedience the text of her entire character. It is difficult for those who think very earnestly for their children to know when their children are thinking on their own account. The exercise of their volition we construe as revolt. Our love does not like to be invalided and deposed from its command, and here I think yonder old thrush on the lawn who has just kicked the last of her lank offspring out of the nest to go shift for itself, much the kinder of the two, though sentimental people do shrug their ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... or similar requirements of uniformity throughout the United States as to the tariff, internal taxes, courts, and the right of trial by jury. But in every case the early practice did not construe this to ...
— Problems of Expansion - As Considered In Papers and Addresses • Whitelaw Reid

... intention of the legislator as evidenced by—what I should like to call—the history of the clause. They look for the intention of the draftsman, they search the Parliamentary proceedings concerning the clause, and they interpret and construe the clause with regard to the intention of the draftsman as well as to ...
— The League of Nations and its Problems - Three Lectures • Lassa Oppenheim

... because you are not rich. Is knowledge the pearl of price in your estimation? That too may be purchased by steady application, and long, solitary hours of study and reflection. "But," says the man of letters, "what a hardship is it that many an illiterate fellow, who cannot construe the motto on his coach, shall raise a fortune, and make a figure, while I possess merely the common conveniences of life." Was it for fortune, then, that you grew pale over the midnight lamp, and gave the sprightly ...
— The American Frugal Housewife • Lydia M. Child

... voices an' protests where everything's been quiet an' peaceable up to now? Why ain't we never heard nothin' about all this before if it's such a big thing an' a thing that the Lord intended?" He gazed about him helplessly and with the face of one who sees omens and cannot construe them, but who feels a nameless fear of ...
— Destiny • Charles Neville Buck

... have been abused by both parties. As far as has come to my knowledge, you are misinformed. I have never seen or heard a sentence of blame uttered against you by the republicans; unless we were so to construe their wishes that you had more boldly co-operated in a project of a treaty, and would more explicitly state, whether there was in your colleagues that flexibility, which persons earnest after peace would have practised. Whether, on the contrary, ...
— Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson - Volume I • Thomas Jefferson

... constitution and laws. Now, suppose every citizen was allowed to construe the laws to suit himself, without any regard for the rights of others, what a fine state of affairs we should soon have. But the wise makers of the constitution and laws of the United States did not leave us in such danger. ...
— Baltimore Catechism No. 4 (of 4) - An Explanation Of The Baltimore Catechism of Christian Doctrine • Thomas L. Kinkead

... epithets which Homer applies to the heavens seem to imply that he considered it as a solid vault of metal. But it is not necessary to construe these epithets so literally, nor to draw any such inference from his description of Atlas, who holds the lofty pillars which keep earth and heaven asunder. Yet it would seem, from the manner in which the height of heaven is compared with the depth of Tartarus, that ...
— The Iliad of Homer • Homer

... you, construe my gratitude into any sense of future favors,—no such thing; for whatever may be my success with you hereafter, I am truly deeply grateful for the past. Circumstances, into which I need not enter, have made me for some years past a resident in a ...
— Charles O'Malley, The Irish Dragoon, Volume 2 (of 2) • Charles Lever

... of the war powers of the President; I study, and study, and cannot find them as absolute as the Lincolnites construe them. All that I read in the Constitution are the real war powers in the Congress, and the President is only the executor of those powers. The President must have permission for every thing, almost at every step—and has no right to issue decrees. ...
— Diary from November 12, 1862, to October 18, 1863 • Adam Gurowski

... result, accepted a general declaration that "an honest acquiescence in the action of the late national convention upon all subjects legitimately before it is the duty of every Whig." Horace Greeley suggested that "those who please can construe ...
— A Political History of the State of New York, Volumes 1-3 • DeAlva Stanwood Alexander

... She knew that if she surrendered to them it meant giving way to despair; she thought of any and all of Perigal's words which she could honestly construe into a resolve on his part to marry her before her child was born. As she thus struggled against her unquiet thoughts, two men (at intervals of a few minutes) followed and attempted to speak to her. ...
— Sparrows - The Story of an Unprotected Girl • Horace W. C. Newte

... there could be no genuine Fairfax; to-night he entertained many doubts of his former deductions. He found it possible to construe Dorothy's actions both ways. She was afraid to have him search out the man who had written her wedding certificate, perhaps because it was a fraud, or perhaps because there was a Fairfax somewhere, concerning whom something must ...
— A Husband by Proxy • Jack Steele

... His revelation from the heavens—is this, that the first volume contains all the facts, and the second volume contains His interpretation and application of the facts in the understandings and hearts of His people. We have no more facts from which to construe God than these which belong to the earthly life of Jesus Christ, and we never shall have, here at all events. But whilst the first volume to the bottom of the last page is finished and tolerates and needs ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture: St. John Chaps. XV to XXI • Alexander Maclaren

... existence. "Colour, hardness, figure, and so forth," he will say, "are generated within the sphere of sense, in obedience to its own original laws. They form integral parts of the sphere; and he who endeavours to construe them to his own mind as embodied in extrinsic independent existences, must for ever be foiled in the attempt." This man declines giving any answer to the problem. We ask, how can our sensations be embodied in distinct permanent realities? And he replies, that they never are and ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 54, No. 337, November, 1843 • Various

... classical lecture in the Hall, I could not bear Meeke's superiority, and I tried to sit as far from him as I could, that I might not hear him construe." ...
— Life Of Johnson, Vol. 1 • Boswell, Edited by Birkbeck Hill

... back joyfully, and it was not long before he was once more at cards with them. The promise he had given to Trautvetter he should construe after his own views; he would be careful to keep ...
— 'Jena' or 'Sedan'? • Franz Beyerlein

... beginning to respect you now. Don't do anything to make him think you're a little soft. That's what he wants to think, and he'd construe any such move on ...
— The Jester of St. Timothy's • Arthur Stanwood Pier

... me see if I can construe it: 'Hic ibat Simois,' I know you not; 'hic est Sigeia tellus,' I trust you not; 'Hic steterat Priami,' take heed he hear us not; 'regia,' presume not; 'celsa senis,' ...
— The Taming of the Shrew • William Shakespeare [Craig, Oxford edition]

... professed republican, I dared not declare myself the panegyrist of a nation, whose maxims were exactly the reverse of my own. More grieved at the misfortunes of France than the French themselves I was afraid the public would construe into flattery and mean complaisance the marks of a sincere attachment, of which in my first part I have mentioned the date and the cause, and which I was ashamed ...
— The Confessions of J. J. Rousseau, Complete • Jean Jacques Rousseau

... play an odd trick, Get the great seal and turn out Broderick; And, fifthly, (you know whom I mean,) To humble that vexatious Dean: And, sixthly, for my soul to barter it For fifty times its worth to Carteret. Now since your motto thus you construe, I must confess you've spoken once true. Libertas et natale solum. You had good reason ...
— The Prose Works of Jonathan Swift, Vol. VI; The Drapier's Letters • Jonathan Swift

... or Advantage can this Translation be to the Publick? As for school-Boys and Learners, Bernard's and Hool's Translations, the great number of Notes, a School-Master, or their own Industry will well enough teach 'em to construe it. Men of Sense and Learning, they read it wholly for the Latin sake; therefore a Translation is of no use to them. Lastly, They won't fit our Stage; and consequently they are impertinent at best. To these we answer; First, As to School-Boys ...
— Prefaces to Terence's Comedies and Plautus's Comedies (1694) • Lawrence Echard

... Just the other way!" grunted Netta. "Latin has a paralysing effect upon my brain. Instead of sharpening me it deadens my faculties. When I've been trying to construe a page of Virgil, my ...
— The Youngest Girl in the Fifth - A School Story • Angela Brazil

... Macbriar, somewhat disconcerted; "it is not for thee to instruct tender professors, or to construe Covenant obligations. For the rest, you have acknowledged enough of sin and sorrowful defection, to draw down defeat on a host, were it as numerous as the sands on the sea-shore. And it is our judgment, that we are not free to let you pass from us safe and in life, since ...
— Old Mortality, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... the one hand, how very fallible the test in question is known to have proved itself in many cases of much less speculative difficulty—seeing, too, that even now "the philosophy of the condition proves that things there are which may, nay must, be true, of which nevertheless the mind is unable to construe to itself the possibility;"[9] and seeing, on the other hand, that the substance of Mind, whatever it is, must necessarily be unknowable;—seeing these things, if any question remains as to whether the test of inconceivability should in this case be regarded ...
— A Candid Examination of Theism • George John Romanes

... it?—men attain high places by means which the law would construe as criminal, were they not intelligent enough to ...
— The False Faces • Vance, Louis Joseph

... I began to construe the Latin language, which I had never done before, notwithstanding my long and diligent study of Lilly, which illustrious grammar was not used at Edinburgh, nor indeed known. Greek was only taught in the fifth or highest ...
— Lavengro - The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest • George Borrow

... let the master read vnto hym the Epistles of Cicero, gathered togither and chosen out by Sturmius, for the capacitie of children. First, let him teach the childe, cherefullie and plainlie, the cause, and matter of the letter: then, let him construe it into Englishe, so oft, as the childe may // The order easilie carie awaie the vnderstanding of it: // of teaching. Lastlie, parse it ouer perfitlie. This done thus, let the childe, by and by, both construe and parse it ouer againe: so, that it may appeare, that the childe douteth in ...
— The Schoolmaster • Roger Ascham

... Professor Bury, and Mr. E. M. Antoniadi. The meaning of [Greek: teleutaioi krotoi] is not clear. Various interpretations have been suggested; to read [Greek: brotoi], mortals, instead of [Greek: krotoi], and to construe [Greek: teleutaioi] adverbially, 'finally, O mortals!'; to understand a reference to the judgment day, 'O applauses given at the final judgment'; to take the phrase as equivalent to, 'O celebrities at (or to) the very end of time'; to understand it as ...
— Byzantine Churches in Constantinople - Their History and Architecture • Alexander Van Millingen

... Sutra is intelligible without a commentary. The most essential words are habitually dispensed with; nothing is, for instance, more common than the simple ommission of the subject or predicate of a sentence. And when here and there a Sutra occurs whose words construe without anything having to be supplied, the phraseology is so eminently vague and obscure that without the help derived from a commentary we should be unable to make out to what subject the Sutra refers. When undertaking to translate either of the ...
— The Vedanta-Sutras with the Commentary by Sankaracarya - Sacred Books of the East, Volume 1 • George Thibaut

... on next. He bungled through the Latin in a grating irresolute sort of a way, with several false quantities, for each of which the next boy took him up. Then he began to construe;—a frightful confusion of nominatives without verbs, accusatives translated as ablatives, and perfects turned into prepositions ensued, and after a hopeless flounder, during which Mr. Gordon left him entirely to himself, Barker ...
— Eric • Frederic William Farrar

... hair with a powerful microscope, to know whether its owner could be insulted with impunity. He then became more and more obscure, so that I was obliged to give up all attempt at translation; neither did I follow the drift of his argument. On coming to the next part which I could construe, I found that ...
— Erewhon • Samuel Butler

... her that her image had never been absent from my heart since first I saw her, that I should never know peace or happiness again until she would give me some hope, and that I would sooner die than have her construe my words into an insult. She was touched by the earnestness and evident sincerity of my manner; and, encouraged by her silence, I proceeded hastily to inform her that my name was Cornari, that I was a young man of humble birth, but that I possessed a modest competency, and was my own ...
— Wagner, the Wehr-Wolf • George W. M. Reynolds

... sign from his companion caused the topman to pause, while he endeavoured to construe its meaning as well as he was able. With a facility, that was in some degree owing to the character of the individual his construction of the other's meaning was favourable to himself, as was quite evident by the manner in ...
— The Red Rover • James Fenimore Cooper

... said, at the end. "If my son chooses to act the bully, he must take the consequences. Mrs. Preston does not look upon it in the same light, and insists upon my taking Godfrey from school. For the sake of peace, I must do so, but you must not construe it as showing any disapproval on my part of your ...
— Only An Irish Boy - Andy Burke's Fortunes • Horatio Alger, Jr.

... thee for a witness of the bitterness, the tumult of my feelings, during this day; ever since you left me. You cannot conceive any thing more forlorn, more vacant, more anxious, than this weak heart has been and still is. I was terrified at my own sensations, and, with my usual folly, began to construe them into omens of evils; so inadequate, so disproportioned was my distress to the cause ...
— Jane Talbot • Charles Brockden Brown

... credentials, spare to deliver the glorious message with which he is charged by the true Head of the Church. For a man thus minded, there is within the pale of the establishment no place. He has been at no college; he cannot construe a Greek author or write a Latin theme; and he is told that, if he remains in the communion of the Church, he must do so as a hearer, and that, if he is resolved to be a teacher, he must begin by being a schismatic. ...
— Critical and Historical Essays Volume 2 • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... the unions are intended as guides for and restrictions upon the administrative officials, but in all cases the latter are given considerable latitude. The cost of the benefit, therefore, depends largely upon the strictness with which the officials construe the rules. In those unions where the injuries entitling to a benefit are not specifically defined, the officers have great discretionary power. Indeed, even if they have the best intention, it is ...
— Beneficiary Features of American Trade Unions • James B. Kennedy

... into confessions," responded he. "I may say that I never could construe your visits to Paul, the ingenious artist, merely as dictated by admiration ...
— Wilson's Tales of the Borders and of Scotland, XXII • various

... "Let them construe that who can," answered Whitaker; "the fellow who drove them was a west-country man, and only said they came from a friend to help to furnish out your ladyship's entertainment; the man would not stay to drink—I am sorry he would not stay to drink—I crave ...
— Peveril of the Peak • Sir Walter Scott

... Julius?" inquired the dog's master, leaning upon his elbow, and giving no sign which the dog could possibly construe into ...
— A Dog with a Bad Name • Talbot Baines Reed

... snapping his fingers. "I know what young men are. A gay dashing lad, I suppose, whose hot blood and youthful frolics old maiden ladies construe into ...
— Mark Hurdlestone - Or, The Two Brothers • Susanna Moodie

... missed the statue from the gallery, and, concluding that it had been put away out of deference to his feelings, made no remark. Yet at moments he noticed something on his lady's face which he had never noticed there before. He could not construe it; it was a sort of silent ecstasy, a reserved beatification. What had become of the statue he could not divine, and growing more and more curious, looked about here and there for it till, thinking of her private room, ...
— A Group of Noble Dames • Thomas Hardy

... a puff-jawed Triton, who wallowed in an arid basin and uplifted toward heaven what an indulgent observer might construe as a broken conch-shell. "Love! Mon Dieu, how are the superior fallen! I have not the decency to conceal even from myself that I love my wife! I am shameless, I had as lief proclaim it from the house-tops. And a month ago—tarare, the ignorant beast I was! Moreover, at that time I had not passed ...
— Gallantry - Dizain des Fetes Galantes • James Branch Cabell

... to Prince Henry (brother of Charles I.) about Dr John Still, Bishop of Bath and Wells in 1592, says that no one "could be admitted to primam tonsuram, except he could first bene le bene con bene can, as they called it, which is to read well, to conster [construe] well, and to sing well, in which last he hath good judgment." [The three bene's are of ...
— Shakespeare and Music - With Illustrations from the Music of the 16th and 17th centuries • Edward W. Naylor

... receive, believe, relieve, grieve, deceive, conceive, perceive, seize, precede, concede, supersede, recede, argue, rue, construe, woe, pursue. ...
— Practical Grammar and Composition • Thomas Wood

... the lap of unrestrained indulgence at home: and if most of them at least, by their impotency as officers, in all important functions at sea, by their boyish and overweening conceit of their gold lace, by their overbearing manner toward the seamen, and by their peculiar aptitude to construe the merest trivialities of manner into set affronts against their dignity; if by all this they sometimes contract the ill-will of the seamen; and if, in a thousand ways, the seamen cannot but betray it—how easy for any of these midshipmen, who may happen to be unrestrained by moral principle, ...
— White Jacket - or, the World on a Man-of-War • Herman Melville

... not been lost on the Provencal, who well knew how to construe the wind by the direction of straws, and saw at once, by the boldness of the populace, that they themselves were conscious of a coming tempest. "Par Dieu," said he, as he saluted Adrian, who, gravely, and without looking behind, had now won the ...
— Rienzi • Edward Bulwer Lytton

... purpose, then, plainly stated, is, that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in ...
— Abraham Lincoln • George Haven Putnam

... nearly 1385, boys in the English grammar-schools were taught to construe their Latin lessons into French.[10] St. Francis of Assisi is said by some of his biographers to have had his original name changed to Francesco because of his early mastery of that language as a qualification ...
— The Travels of Marco Polo Volume 1 • Marco Polo and Rustichello of Pisa

... Steve very soon became the personal embodiment of mortifying uncertainty, and wounded amour propre. For if Mrs. Sandal's suspicion were true, or even if it were not true, she was not likely to be the only one in Sandal-Side who would construe Latrigg's singular disposition of his papers in the same way. Certainly Squire William did not feel as if the dead man had ...
— The Squire of Sandal-Side - A Pastoral Romance • Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

... certain restraint which she ever seemed to exercise over me, that effectually sealed my lips. Her very presence was a moral tonic, and I felt it would be easier to tear out my tongue than to utter anything which she could construe into possible insult. The very depth of her perfect womanhood was itself protection, and, until the veil was finally lifted, my lips were ...
— My Lady of the North • Randall Parrish

... to thirteen pages; and the dedication (to that revered monarch, George IV) must have cost him no little study and correspondence. Walter Scott was called in council, and offered one miscorrection which still blots the page. In spite of all this pondering and filing, there remain pages not easy to construe, and inconsistencies not easy to explain away. I have sought to make these disappear, and to lighten a little the baggage with which my grandfather marches; here and there I have rejointed and rearranged a sentence, always with his own words, and all with a reverent and faithful hand; ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 16 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... as he believed, that beautiful girl's high thoughts had tended toward him; there had been looks, gestures, even words, that had this effect to him, or that seemed to have had it; and Beaton saw that he might easily construe Mrs. Horn's confidential appeal to him to get Margaret interested in art again as something by no means necessarily offensive, even though it had been made to him as to a master of illusion. If Mrs. Horn had to choose between ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... Declaration of London and the general subject of contraband, Page was instructed to call the British Government's attention to the consequences which followed shipping troubles in previous times. It is hard to construe this in any other way than as a threat to Great Britain ...
— The Life and Letters of Walter H. Page, Volume I • Burton J. Hendrick

... destroy. Spencer's attitude toward religion was in his earlier work one of more pronounced antagonism or, at least, of more complete agnosticism than in later days he found requisite to the maintenance of his scientific freedom and conscientiousness. Both of these men represent the effort to construe the world, including man, from the point of view of the natural and also of the social sciences, and to define the place of religion in that view of the world which is thus set forth. The fact that there had been no such philosophical readjustment in Great Britain as in Germany, made the acceptance ...
— Edward Caldwell Moore - Outline of the History of Christian Thought Since Kant • Edward Moore

... vessels in distress, and to deviate for the purpose of saving life and property.'' The nature and extent of the liberty will depend on the words of the contract. The inclination of English courts has been to construe clauses giving a liberty to deviate somewhat strictly ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... children with the old languages, not teaching them to read, but to construe, and cramming the little memories with hideous grammatical forms. So the whole process of education becomes a dreary wrestling with the uninteresting and the unattainable; and when we have broken ...
— Joyous Gard • Arthur Christopher Benson

... construe dead tongues, or at least could when he left college a few months back, but now his life, the life of his crew, the salving of the dock, and the winning of a possible fortune, depended upon his answering the riddle of this Twentieth Century ...
— The Cruise of the Dry Dock • T. S. Stribling

... crossed to Jamaica, where they enjoyed ample opportunity to compare the condition of that island, under British rule, with Cuba under the government of the Spaniards, as also to learn how the Jamaicans construe the word "hospitality". Dances, picnics, dinners at Government House and elsewhere, balls at Up-Park camp and on board the battleships at Port Royal succeeded each other with bewildering rapidity; while they were positively ...
— The Cruise of the Thetis - A Tale of the Cuban Insurrection • Harry Collingwood

... merely school-boys now, their business is to construe Virgil. Poor Virgil! whose verses, which he took so much pains to polish, have been misscanned, and misparsed, and misinterpreted by so many generations of idle school-boys. There, sit down, ye Latinists. Two or three of you, I fear, are doomed ...
— Grandfather's Chair • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... that "Forty Years on" is sung all over the world. But, when I went to Harrow, we were confined to the traditional English songs and ballads, and to some Latin ditties by Bradby and Westcott, which we bellowed lustily but could not always construe. E. E. Bowen's stirring, though often bizarre, compositions (admirably set to music by John Farmer) began soon after I entered the school, and E. W. Howson's really touching and melodious verses succeeded ...
— Fifteen Chapters of Autobiography • George William Erskine Russell

... assertion of my own opinion, you are to understand me just as if one or other of the qualifying phrases above mentioned had been actually inserted in every sentence. My general direction for you to construe me thus will render all that I write as strictly and actually true as if I had every time lugged in a formal declaration of the fact that I was merely expressing the notions ...
— Eothen • A. W. Kinglake

... "All charges of war and all other expenses that shall be incurred for the common defense or general welfare, and allowed by the United States in Congress, shall be defrayed out of a common treasury," etc. A similar language again occurs in article ninth. Construe either of these articles by the rules which would justify the construction put on the new Constitution, and they vest in the existing Congress a power to legislate in all cases whatsoever. But what would have been ...
— The Federalist Papers • Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison

... tendency to perversion may be more decisive and at other times more influence may be exerted by the collateral increase of the same through the deviation of the libido from the normal sexual aim and object. It would be unjust to construe a contrast where a cooperation exists. The greatest results will always be brought about by a neurosis if constitution and experience cooperate in the same direction. A pronounced constitution may perhaps be able to dispense with the assistance of ...
— Three Contributions to the Theory of Sex • Sigmund Freud

... it then in fee; none wanted it in fee. The grasses and the sweet waters offered accessible and profitable chemistry for all men who had cows to range. The land laws still were vague and inexact in application, and each man could construe them much as he liked. The excellent homestead law of 1862, one of the few really good land laws that have been put on our national statute books, worked well enough so long as we had good farming lands for homesteading—lands of which a quarter section would support a home and a family. This ...
— The Passing of the Frontier - A Chronicle of the Old West, Volume 26 in The Chronicles - Of America Series • Emerson Hough

... on!" he answered. "Don't construe me so ungenerously. I only said that I would first convince you ...
— Doctor Jones' Picnic • S. E. Chapman

... them out of her fold, so that they should not infect and contaminate the good and the loyal. It was in this sense that St. Paul, the inspired Apostle, in the very first century of the Christian era, instructed Titus to construe and administer the law committed to his charge. After warning Titus that there are "many vain talkers and deceivers," St. Paul commands him "to rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in faith". ...
— The Purpose of the Papacy • John S. Vaughan

... Melanchthon again utterly failed the Lutheran Church both as a leader and a private. For although Lutheranism in this controversy was fighting for its very existence, Master Philip remained silent, non-committal, neutral. Viewed in the light of the conditions then prevailing, it was impossible to construe this attitude as pro-Lutheran. Moreover, whenever and wherever Melanchthon, in his letters and opinions written during this controversy, did show his colors to some extent, it was but too apparent that his mind and heart was with the enemies rather than with the champions ...
— Historical Introductions to the Symbolical Books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church • Friedrich Bente

... They had done all this for a race of men who had been uniformly harsh and unjust to the Kafirs, who had brought their own Republic to bankruptcy and chaos by misgovernment, who were and would remain foes of the British empire, who were incapable of appreciating magnanimity, and would construe forbearance as cowardice. They had destroyed the prestige of British power in Africa among whites and blacks, and thereby sowed for themselves and their successors ...
— Impressions of South Africa • James Bryce

... need of provisions, but without ready money to pay for them. He therefore requested permission to sell "certain slaves he had with him." The opportunity was eagerly welcomed by the planters, and the governor, not thinking it necessary to construe his orders from home too stringently, allowed two-thirds of the cargo to be sold. As neither Hawkins nor the Spanish colonists anticipated any serious displeasure on the part of Philip II., the remaining 100 slaves were left as a deposit with the Council of the island. Hawkins invested ...
— The Buccaneers in the West Indies in the XVII Century • Clarence Henry Haring

... of the other grants, such restraint, though the most innocent, could not have failed to have had an injurious effect on the vital principles of the Government and often on its most important measures. Those who might wish to defeat a measure proposed might construe the power relied on in support of it in a narrow and contracted manner, and in that way fix a precedent inconsistent with the true import of the grant. At other times those who favored a measure might give to the power relied on a forced or strained construction, and, succeeding in the object, fix ...
— A Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents - Section 1 (of 3) of Volume 2: James Monroe • James D. Richardson

... tried to get rid of the odor of the pumpkin business; but all to no purpose. Do what he would, go where he would, contribute to what he would, mix with what society he would, be as generous as he would, people were heard to whisper 'pumpkins;' and to construe his motives as prompted by the same spirit which induced him to make a business of cultivating that vegetable. A similar odor, arising from his connection with Pierce, Smooth found clinging to his garments. The world in general viewed ...
— The Adventures of My Cousin Smooth • Timothy Templeton

... letters was prevalent among the upper class, and indeed was fashionable among both ladies and gentlemen of rank. In this the court of Elizabeth set the fashion. The daughter of the duchess was taught not only to distill strong waters, but to construe Greek. When the queen was translating Socrates or Seneca, the maids of honor found it convenient to affect at least a taste for the classics. For the nobleman and the courtier an intimacy with Greek, Latin, and Italian was essential to "good form." But ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... these staff-corps and departments are selected and chosen from the army itself, or fresh from West Point, and too commonly construe themselves into the elite, as made of better clay than the common soldier. Thus they separate themselves more and more from their comrades of the line, and in process of time realize the condition of that old officer of artillery who thought the army would be ...
— Memoirs of Three Civil War Generals, Complete • U. S. Grant, W. T. Sherman, P. H. Sheridan

... no ground for inferring a certain fact to be impossible, merely from our inability to conceive its possibility." "Things there are which may, nay must, be true, of which the understanding is wholly unable to construe to itself the possibility."(98) Sir William Hamilton is, however, a firm believer in the a priori character of many axioms, and of the sciences deduced from them; and is so far from considering those axioms to rest on the evidence of experience, that he declares certain of them ...
— A System Of Logic, Ratiocinative And Inductive • John Stuart Mill

... call her backe againe, And pray her to a fault, for which I chid her. What 'foole is she, that knowes I am a Maid, And would not force the letter to my view? Since Maides, in modesty, say no, to that, Which they would haue the profferer construe, I. Fie, fie: how way-ward is this foolish loue; That (like a testie Babe) will scratch the Nurse, And presently, all humbled kisse the Rod? How churlishly, I chid Lucetta hence, When willingly, I would haue had her here? How angerly I taught my brow to frowne, When inward ioy enforc'd ...
— The First Folio [35 Plays] • William Shakespeare

... he did was done at that little age, and it comprised this: "He got by heart almost the entire vocabulary of Latin and French primitives and words, could make congruous syntax, turn English into Latin, and vice versa, construe and prove what he read, and did the government and use of relatives, verbs, substantives, ellipses, and many figures and tropes, and made a considerable progress in Comenius's 'Janua,' and had a strong passion ...
— Essays • Alice Meynell

... that no one will construe this as an attack on the Industrial Workers of the World. It is not my intention to express in this place any opinion as to the merits or demerits of that organization. It is only mentioned here because mention of it was necessary to illustrate the most curious case I know ...
— Socialism: Positive and Negative • Robert Rives La Monte

... her ruined homesteads, her trampled fields, You have taken your toll, you have set your seal; Her women are homeless, her men are dead, Her children pitifully cry for bread; Perchance they will drink with you—"To the Day!" Let each man construe it as he may. What shall it be? They, too, have but one enemy; Whose work is this? Belgium has but one word ...
— The New York Times Current History: the European War, February, 1915 • Various

... command of the Governor of Virginia and Carolina, and the nation approved the deed; but I speak of the period, during the presidency of Mr. Jefferson, when the State of Pennsylvania passed a law nullifying the powers of the General Government, under her reserved right to construe the Constitution at her pleasure, when she was compelled to yield to the laws of the Union, and her armed force, assembled by her Governor under an edict of the State, was ineffectual. Nullification was condemned by Jefferson and Madison, ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 3 No 2, February 1863 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... you there residing, as is your duty, upon my arrival, I shall be able to construe the reasons for your absence, ...
— In the Valley • Harold Frederic

... very same root as that of the iron rod of the Hanover schoolhouse. We may find it in the olive-branch brought by the dove into the ark—a message of Divine love and mercy—and therefore a connecting-link between human needs and desires and superhuman power. To construe a mere symbol into a realized embodiment of the virtue symbolized were surely as easy in this case as in ...
— Storyology - Essays in Folk-Lore, Sea-Lore, and Plant-Lore • Benjamin Taylor

... observations which I had to address you upon this paper; and having shown you that by the least liberal construction, no criminality of intention can be imputed to the author, how can I doubt of your acquittal? For it is your duty to construe the author's words so as to give them an innocent meaning if they will bear it, and not come to a conclusion of guilt from them unless you shall be convinced that they will not possibly admit of any other than a criminal sense. That he had no criminal ...
— A Sketch of the Life of the late Henry Cooper - Barrister-at-Law, of the Norfolk Circuit; as also, of his Father • William Cooper

... they observe in the dispositions of very young children. If properly checked in time, evil propensities may be eradicated; but this should not extend to anything but serious defects; otherwise, the intuitive perceptions which all children possess will construe the act into "spying" and "informing," which should never be resorted to in the case of children, ...
— The Book of Household Management • Mrs. Isabella Beeton

... an early occasion to make a speech at this capital indorseing the Dred Scott decision, and vehemently denouncing all opposition to it. The new President, too, seizes the early occasion of the Silliman letter to indorse and strongly construe that decision, and to express his astonishment that any different view ...
— Lincoln's Inaugurals, Addresses and Letters (Selections) • Abraham Lincoln

... been at a loss how to construe the manner of the other, perceived at once a good deal of plain English in this request, and he dislodged one of Colonel Howard's dusty bottles, with a dexterity that denoted the earnestness of his purpose. Borroughcliffe had made a ...
— The Pilot • J. Fenimore Cooper

... in the temper or in the circumstances of William to put any such easy meaning on either promise. The oath might, if needful, be construed very strictly, and William was disposed to construe it very strictly. Harold had not promised William a crown, which was not his to promise; but he had promised to do that which might be held to forbid him to take a crown which William held to be his own. If the man owed his ...
— William the Conqueror • E. A. Freeman

... pounds at one sitting to Lord Carlisle, who offered to take three thousand pounds down. Nothing was paid. But ten years afterwards, when Lord Carlisle pressed for his money, he complained that an attempt was made to construe the offer into a remission of the ten thousand pounds:—'The only way, in honour, that Lord Ilchester could have accepted my offer, would have been by taking some steps to pay the L3000. I remained in a state of uncertainty, I think, ...
— The Gaming Table: Its Votaries and Victims - Volume I (of II) • Andrew Steinmetz

... nearly a month after Arthur's death, her father, leading her into the room, where Philip waited her footstep with a beating heart, placed her hand in his—and Philip falling on his knees said, "May I hope to retain this hand for life?"—she should falter out such words as he might construe into not reluctant acquiescence; that all this should happen is so natural that the reader is already prepared for it. But still she thought with bitter and remorseful feelings of him thus deliberately and faithlessly renounced. She felt how deeply he had loved her—she knew how fearful would ...
— Night and Morning, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... prove so helpful. One of them, though he has since become an energetic man of business on the Pacific Coast, was certainly not helped into his present position by his Latin; for of all the translations I have ever heard or read of, one of his was the worst. Being called to construe the first line of the ...
— Volume I • Andrew Dickson White

... safe enough," he rasped on. "The police could only construe your visit to Moyne's flat as zeal on behalf of the bank. And it was safer, much more circumspect on your part, not to order the flat searched at once, but only as a last resort, as it were, after you had led the police to trail him all ...
— The Adventures of Jimmie Dale • Frank L. Packard

... Queen. He said he was anxious that Her Majesty should lose no time in writing to appoint Sir Robert Peel to be here to-morrow, for though he was not afraid of Sir Robert taking affront, his Party would be too ready to construe any delay on the Queen's part into a slight. He said the Prince had been with him just before, and amongst other things had urged him to continue to him and to the Queen his advice and assistance, especially ...
— The Letters of Queen Victoria, Volume 1 (of 3), 1837-1843) • Queen Victoria

... Brooklyn on my return, but I never dreamed it would be the ovation it was. It becomes difficult to write of these personal courtesies, as I find them increasing in the progress of my life from now on. I trust the casual reader will not construe anything in these pages into a boastful desire to spread myself in ...
— T. De Witt Talmage - As I Knew Him • T. De Witt Talmage

... capacity to judge for herself in all things, how can she know when she should obey or when disobey? If implicit obedience is her duty, is there any justice, then, in punishing her for obeying the order of him whom she is bound to obey? Those who construe this and other portions of the Word of God to suit themselves, would protest loudly enough against the "manifest injustice" if it were meted out to them. But we know there is no unrighteousness with God. The Bible expressly declares that "God ...
— Woman: Man's Equal • Thomas Webster

... pretty waltz, or Lucinda and Ardentio pulling a cracker. Burn your little fingers, children! Blaze out little kindly flames from each other's eyes! And then draw close together and read the motto (that old namby-pamby motto, so stale and so new!)—I say, let her lips read it, and his construe it; and so divide the sweetmeat, young people, and crunch it between you. I have no teeth. Bitter almonds and sugar disagree with me, I tell you; but, for all that, shall not bonbons melt in ...
— The Virginians • William Makepeace Thackeray

... to throw away the fabulous nor deny the legendary. But it is certainly not wise to construe the fabulous as the actual and maintain the legendary as literally true. Things may be true allegorically and false literally, and to be able to distinguish the one from the other, and prize each in its proper place, is ...
— Little Journeys To The Homes Of Great Teachers • Elbert Hubbard

... troubled sea of time toward the shore of the unknown eternity. Because the conception of capturing fishes in the Sea is at one time in the Lord's discourses employed to indicate the benevolent labour of the Gospel ministry, it does not follow that you are compelled to construe that conception in the same way wherever it occurs, although the circumstances manifestly render the ...
— The Parables of Our Lord • William Arnot

... is more of genuine scholarship among members of the race there will be a different attitude assumed towards it. But as long as the Negro prefers to construe owlish looks as wisdom, to bow down to clam like silence as profound philosophy, to stand agape over blatant mouthings as eloquence, and to measure mental calibre by bodily avoirdupois, he not only gives evidence of weakness in a lack of sound discrimination, but he subjects the entire ...
— The Educated Negro and His Mission - The American Negro Academy. Occasional Papers No. 8 • W. S. Scarborough

... the Supreme Court may not question congressional motives, it cannot escape the obligation to construe a statute in the light of its true nature and effect. The Court ...
— Our Changing Constitution • Charles Pierson

... he had contrived (as in the case of the cricket match last term) to bring glory on his school and to make himself a hero in the eyes of Saint Dominic's, he had been wont to take the applause bestowed on him with the utmost indifference, which some might even construe into contempt. And in precisely the same spirit would he take the displeasure which he now ...
— The Fifth Form at Saint Dominic's - A School Story • Talbot Baines Reed

... old-fashioned pedagogue, who no more dreamed of the scientific fame of his pupil than did Trebonius of the approaching celebrity of young Master Martin. Copernicus would there learn to read, to write, to construe Latin, and to commit to memory hymns, prayers, and catechisms. Whether as a lad he studied Greek is uncertain; but, as his parents seem to have been wealthy, he would enjoy greater advantages than his still more illustrious contemporary; hence at an early period he was sent to ...
— Great Men and Famous Women. Vol. 3 of 8 • Various

... interior words, they too are subject to illusion; the enemy can form and counterfeit them. Or if they come from a good angel (for God Himself never speaks thus) we may mistake and misapprehend them. They are spoken in a divine manner, but we construe them in a human ...
— The Autobiography of Madame Guyon • Jeanne Marie Bouvier de La Motte Guyon

... transcendental poets of the day—take him fresh from Alexander Smith, or Alfred Tennyson's Maud, or the Mystic of Bailey—and we will engage to find him at least ten passages in the first ten pages of Men and Women, some of which, even after profound study, he will not be able to construe at all, and not one of which he will be able to read off at sight. Let us take one or two selections at random from the first volume, and try. What, for instance, is the meaning of these four stanzas from the poem ...
— Early Reviews of English Poets • John Louis Haney

... shares upon Alf. And if Melmotte would come and be smiled upon by herself, be flattered as she thought that she could flatter him, be told that he was a god, and have that passage about the divinity of joining ocean to ocean construed to him as she could construe it, would not the great man become plastic under her hands? And if, while this was a-doing, Felix would run away with Marie, could not forgiveness be made easy? And her creative mind ranged still farther. Mr Broune might help, and even Mr Booker. To such a one as Melmotte, a man doing ...
— The Way We Live Now • Anthony Trollope

... afforded me unfeigned satisfaction to learn, as I do from all quarters, that you keep your own secrets in regard to appointments, & don't feed every body with promises or what they construe into promises—a practice which so many public men are apt to fall into, & by which they make themselves more trouble & subject themselves to more discredit than they dream of. Persevere in that course, ...
— As I Remember - Recollections of American Society during the Nineteenth Century • Marian Gouverneur

... but that what we choose to call so are only different activities of the same power. Each one is just as essential as the other, on which account Education must grant to each faculty its claim to the same fostering care. If we would construe correctly the axiom a potiori fit denominatio to mean that man is distinguished from animals by thought, and that mediated will is not the same as thought, we must not forget that feeling and representing are not less necessary to a truly complete human being. The special direction ...
— Pedagogics as a System • Karl Rosenkranz

... of the capsule and the attributes of the valves and seeds are usually considered to furnish the characteristics of genera, and this point has been elucidated at some length by Solms-Laubach. There is, however, no sufficient reason to construe a new genus on the ground of Heeger's globular fruited shepherd's purse; but as a true elementary species, and even as a good systematic species it has proved itself, and as such it is described by Solms-Laubach, who named it in honor ...
— Species and Varieties, Their Origin by Mutation • Hugo DeVries

... more strange than true— That cloudy weather can construe Unto our thoughts a gloomy view, That all things ...
— A Leaf from the Old Forest • J. D. Cossar

... construction is seldom put upon this canon, the world at large, viewing it from the Epicurean interpretation, which meant earthly pleasures, or the purely sensual enjoyments. It is certain that Ninon's father did not construe any of these canons according to the religious idea, but followed the commonly accepted version, and impressed them upon his young daughter's mind in all their ...
— Life, Letters, and Epicurean Philosophy of Ninon de L'Enclos, - the Celebrated Beauty of the Seventeenth Century • Robinson [and] Overton, ed. and translation.

... to control, and are unable to discern between sternness of manner, and a cold unfeeling hardness of heart; and construe into insults and injuries the necessary restraint imposed upon their actions for their good. Yours, I admit, was a painful situation, which you rendered still more unpleasant by ...
— The Monctons: A Novel, Volume I • Susanna Moodie

... he ought to have been in civil company, caught up the phrase and repeated it:—"Misunderstanding, sir—Misunderstanding, sir?—I do not know how I am to construe that, sir; but to judge from the information of these scratches on your honourable visnomy, I should augur that you had been of late at misunderstanding with ...
— Woodstock; or, The Cavalier • Sir Walter Scott

... am found guilty this day, they will not construe it, I trust, as the least disrespect offered to their discernment and opinion, if I solemnly declare that my heart will rely with confidence in its own innocence, until that awful period when my spirit shall ...
— The Eventful History Of The Mutiny And Piratical Seizure - Of H.M.S. Bounty: Its Cause And Consequences • Sir John Barrow

... not come so far within even the shadow of Sinai as Mahomet did, but chooses rather to construe Moses by Joe Smith. He takes up the crook, not that the sheep may be fed, but that he may never want a warm woollen suit and a ...
— The Biglow Papers • James Russell Lowell

... *Spondeo, sponsum promise respond, espouse Sto, steti, statum stand constant, establish Sisto, stiti, statum cause to stand consistent, superstition Stringo, strictum bind stringent, restrict Struo, structum build construe, destruction Tango, tactum touch intangible, tact Tempus, temporis time temporize, contemporary Tendo, tensum stretch distend, intense Teneo, tentuin hold tenure, detention *Tendo try tentative, attempt Terminus end, boundary terminal, exterminate ...
— The Century Vocabulary Builder • Creever & Bachelor

... lay claim to infallibility. There are verses in the Mahabharata that are exceedingly difficult to construe. I have derived much aid from the great commentator Nilakantha. I know that Nilakantha's authority is not incapable of being challenged. But when it is remembered that the interpretations given by Nilakantha came down to him from preceptors of olden days, one should think twice ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 1 • Kisari Mohan Ganguli

... passed after the voice had entirely ceased, and yet no summons was given to the expecting family, nor did any sound proceed from the inner room, which the respectful son was emboldened to construe into an evidence that he might presume to enter. At length, apprehension began to mingle with conjectures, and then the husband and wife communed apart, in whispers. The misgivings and doubt of the former soon manifested themselves in still more apparent forms. He arose, and was seen pacing the wide ...
— The Wept of Wish-Ton-Wish • James Fenimore Cooper

... competence for his post; because he rose from the populace to his great elevation, they inferred that he was a boor and a bungler, not (as might have seemed equally fair and rather more logical) that he was a capable man; and, with a foregone conclusion, they were quite ready to construe as blundering and grotesque that line of policy and conduct on his part, which, after a war of no immoderate length, resulted in the surmounting of obstacles which they had ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 17, No. 100, February, 1866 • Various

... energetically defends himself against the erroneous interpretations which it was sought to give to his thoughts. "Does it follow," he inquires, "that because a man is desirous of reform, he must surrender the study of the past? And if there be new laws to construe, how could his evil genius deter him from the necessary knowledge of ancient laws? Is there a single jurisconsult, who, in the hope of a better future, despises the meaning and spirit of that which still exists? I do not know even one.... ...
— Principles Of Political Economy • William Roscher

... the fact that the present warden would furnish the men with only the same outfit as in summer, the under-clothes they might happen to have on at the time, added. And, in making out this summer suit, he would construe the letter of the law in the superlative degree, which says, "A suit of cheap clothing,"—he obtaining the cheapest, the most miserably poor. To illustrate, a man left prison in one of those suits, and, before walking a mile, was obliged to call and borrow sewing implements to repair ...
— The Prison Chaplaincy, And Its Experiences • Hosea Quinby

... general advance in two passages from writers of Edward's and Richard's reigns. "Children in school," says Higden, a writer of the first period, "against the usage and manner of all other nations be compelled for to leave their own language and for to construe their lessons and their things in French, and so they have since the Normans first came into England. Also gentlemen's children be taught for to speak French from the time that they be rocked in their cradle, and know how to speak and play with a child's ...
— History of the English People, Volume II (of 8) - The Charter, 1216-1307; The Parliament, 1307-1400 • John Richard Green

... something. And he was acutely conscious of a pair of violet eyes that would have drawn Saint Pyrites from his iron pillar—or whatever the allusion is—and of the lady's smile and look—a little frightened, but a look that, with the ever coward hears of a true lover, he could not yet construe. They were asking his name and bestowing upon him wellbred thanks for his heroic deed, and the Scotch cap was especially babbling and insistent. But the eloquent appeal was in the ...
— The Trimmed Lamp and Others • O Henry

... always maintained, and asserted time to time, that woman is no mystery; that man can foretell, construe, subdue, comprehend, and interpret her. That she is a mystery has been foisted by herself upon credulous mankind. Whether I am right or wrong we shall see. As "Harper's Drawer" used to say in bygone ...
— Options • O. Henry

... published translations, or had not been translated at all as far as we know. In my opinion Will had Latin enough to puzzle out the sense of the Latin, never difficult, for himself. He could also "get a construe," when in London, or help in reading, from a more academic acquaintance: or buy a construe at no high ransom from some poor scholar. No contemporary calls him scholarly; the generation of men who ...
— Shakespeare, Bacon and the Great Unknown • Andrew Lang

... authority; that, considering the fact that the entire phraseology of the constitutional clause regarding treason comes from an English statute of Edward III's time, it was reasonable, if not indispensable, to construe it in the light of the Common Law; and that, certainly as to a procurer of treason, such as Burr was charged with being, the Common Law doctrine was the only just doctrine, being merely a reaffirmation of the even more ancient principle that "what ...
— John Marshall and the Constitution - A Chronicle of the Supreme Court, Volume 16 In The - Chronicles Of America Series • Edward S. Corwin

... power, I put down my foot. I knew his popularity; that he had come into place with the largest majority of any one that had gone before him, who had opposition: but still, I did not consider this as giving him the right to do as he pleased, and construe our Constitution to meet ...
— David Crockett: His Life and Adventures • John S. C. Abbott

... strongly inclined to regard it as a true myth, which, in materialistic language, sets forth the close of the day and the extinction of the light. May we not construe the maiden as the Evening Twilight, the child of the Day at the close of its life? The black lover with whom she is fatally enamored, is he not the Darkness, in which the twilight fades away? The countless crowds of Toltecs that come to the wedding festivities, and ...
— American Hero-Myths - A Study in the Native Religions of the Western Continent • Daniel G. Brinton

... facts of that kind, was always amused by the cold consideration with which he treated her on his rare visits to the parental Towers; and which his sisters could only construe as a sign that "Algy was gone ...
— Red Pottage • Mary Cholmondeley



Words linked to "Construe" :   regard, interpret, mythicise, spiritualize, consider, extract, read, literalize, literalise, allegorise, construal, construe with, misapprehend, elicit, misunderstand, scan, misconstrue, understand, educe, allegorize, take, spiritualise, evoke, mythicize, read between the lines, reckon, misconceive, be amiss, draw out, misinterpret, reinterpret, view



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