Definition of deconstruct in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˌdēkənˈstrəkt/


[with object]
1Analyze (a text or a linguistic or conceptual system) by deconstruction, typically in order to expose its hidden internal assumptions and contradictions and subvert its apparent significance or unity.
Example sentences
  • Deconstructing the novel becomes a metaphor for deconstructing Western metaphysics.
  • Moreover, don't these choices facilitate a feminist reading of the text, deconstructing sentimentality to expose masculine failings and feminine rebellion?
  • Worse still, whereas literature was once valued for the beauty of its language or its moral impact, the purpose of reading is now to deconstruct texts in terms of power relationships.
1.1Reduce (something) to its constituent parts in order to reinterpret it: do we need to deconstruct all the institutions that we’ve created in order to improve them?
More example sentences
  • In other words, he used common sense to deconstruct rhetorical falsehoods, pulling apart the suffocating mesh of collectivist lies one carefully observed thread at a time.
  • In reaction to this sort of perspective, cultural studies theorists tried to destroy or deconstruct the distinction between high art and popular culture.
  • For example, who could pick up a scientific paper and pull apart its conclusions, deconstruct its methodology, even understand what the bloody hell it is on about?



Pronunciation: /-tiv/
Example sentences
  • Spivak is often viewed as an unequivocally deconstructive theorist, and she frequently reinforces this impression by proclaiming her allegiance to Derrida's ideas.
  • Derrida's distrust of metaphysics harmonizes well with this political humanism, and indeed his critique of rationality in the early deconstructive texts follows this logic to its conclusion.
  • The galleries devoted to the white monochromes of Robert Ryman allow us to see, as in a private laboratory made public, his deconstructive exploration of Modernist abstraction in process.


Late 19th century: back-formation from deconstruction.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: de·con·struct

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