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

  • transitive v. To break down into components; dismantle.
  • transitive v. To write about or analyze (a literary text, for example), following the tenets of deconstruction.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To break something down into its component parts.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To interpret (a text or an artwork) by the method of deconstruction.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To take apart (what has been put together); undo the construction of; undo (what has been done).

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

  • v. interpret (a text or an artwork) by the method of deconstructing


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Being able to "deconstruct" requires speaking and understanding a certain type of language, and subscribing to certain intellectual theories.

    John Seed: I Don't Deconstruct

  • I've found that when I "deconstruct" an art to develop variations, my original notes seem very simplistic.

    Notes to Myself

  • It might be helpful to "deconstruct" this conversation.

    Imperfect World, Imperfect Bible

  • And so if you don't beat the military uniform hard enough, we like to drop the roll, like, as soon as we put the fiber, the combat paper project through its workshops seeks to allow the veteran to kind of deconstruct their uniform and deconstruct their experiences in a very comfortable environment and create cathartic works of art.

    CNN Transcript Nov 11, 2009

  • Callow wants to "deconstruct" the Welles story, see the real man who made himself a myth in cahoots with a pushover press.

    Citizen Welles

  • The left that so loves to "deconstruct" everything about Western culture and faith can't seem to recognize their own new religion or their zealous resistance to any deconstruction of their new god object.

    On Thursday, the Legg report will be published along with...

  • You say we should "deconstruct" all truth claims (a founder of "deconstructionism," Paul de Man. whose writings are still influential in American universities, was a Belgian fascist) because there are no facts, only opinions?

    Fascism's Second Spring

  • But what I wanted to mention was how much I enjoyed the recent Simpson's Super Spectactular that criticized all these writers who always want to "deconstruct" some long running hero in a grim and cynical way.

    Comics' Numerical Nightmare

  • To "deconstruct" philosophy, thus, would be to think-—in the most faithful, interior way—-the structured genealogy of philosophy's concepts, but at the same time to determine—-from a certain exterior that is unqualifiable or unnameable by philosophy—-what this history has been able to dissimulate or forbid, making itself into a history by means of this somewhere motivated repression.

    Archive 2008-07-01

  • Here Wood follows Brian Harley, who in turn drew on social theorists such as Michel Foucault and Anthony Giddens to "deconstruct" cartography as "a form of political discourse concerned with the acquisition and maintenance of power," specifically the power of the state (Brian Harley, "Silences and Secrecy: The Hidden Agenda of Cartography in Early Modern Europe," Imago Mundi 40 [1988]: 57-76).

    Where Women Make History: Gendered Tellings of Community and Change in Magude, Mozambique


Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • I have never seen this word used until the last year or two, and just the other day I saw deconstruct used by a sports writer. The first time I saw it was in an art lecture anouncement. I thought why don't they use words the common people can understand, snobs. I would be hard pressed to use deconstruct....meaningless to most of us....let's deconstruct the myth of the Federal Reserve.

    March 31, 2009