The OED defines construct (v.) as “To make or form by fitting the parts together; to frame, build erect.” The word was a late formation from the Latin word constructus, which is a participial stem of construĕre meaning to heap together, pile up, build, construct. “Con” meaning together + “struĕre” meaning to lay, pile, or build. Interestingly enough, the word misconstruct was formed in the year 1596, earlier than the word construct, which was formed around the year 1610.
In fact, the word is closely related to construe, which is defined as “To form by putting materials, to construct.” The word construe comes from the Middle English word “constru-en”. The corresponding French word “consturier” is a late word, however if the English word had derived from the French one, it would have the form of “construy”, or “constroy”. According to the OED, “At an early date the stress was put on the first syllable, and the final reduced to -stre, -ster: conster continued to be the pronunciation down to the 19th century, even after it had disappeared as a written form. Walker, 1791, called this ‘a scandal to seminaries of learning’”
However construct is also a noun. In Linguistics, construct (n.) is “a group of words forming a phrase, as distinct from a compound”. It is believed that this definition of the noun was used starting in the year 1871. Grammatical construction is any syntactic string of words. It is basically the formation of sentences or phrases.
In psychology, it is “An object of perception or though, formed by a combination of present with past sense-impressions. George Kelly, the psychologist and creator of the personal construct theory (PCT), introduced this form of the noun in the 1950s. PCT is a theory of personality, which Kelly believed that anticipation and prediction are the main driers of our mind.
Nevertheless, in our world today, whenever the word construct is used, it is often associated to the word construction, which is the action of constructing, or the manner in which a thing is artificially constructed or naturally formed; structure, conformation, dispositions. As architects, we want the buildings we design for clients to be constructed. These buildings will hopefully be beneficial to the society in which it is built for.
- " Home : Oxford English Dictionary. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/39892?rskey=n92i24&result=1#eid (accessed November 20, 2012).
- " Home : Oxford English Dictionary. http://www.oed.com/view/Entry/39894?rskey=8LVKxn&result=3&isAdvanced=false#eid (accessed November 20, 2012).
- "Online Etymology Dictionary." Online Etymology Dictionary. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=construct&allowed_in_frame=0 (accessed November 20, 2012).
- "Personal construct theory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia." Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Personal_construct_theory (accessed November 20, 2012).