Definition of deconstruction in US English:

deconstruction

noun

  • A method of critical analysis of philosophical and literary language which emphasizes the internal workings of language and conceptual systems, the relational quality of meaning, and the assumptions implicit in forms of expression.

    Deconstruction focuses on a text as such rather than as an expression of the author's intention, stressing the limitlessness (or impossibility) of interpretation and rejecting the Western philosophical tradition of seeking certainty through reasoning by privileging certain types of interpretation and repressing others. It was effectively named and popularized by the French philosopher Jacques Derrida from the late 1960s and taken up particularly by US literary critics

    • ‘Many contemporary writers are familiar with the procedures of post-structuralism and deconstruction.’
    • ‘Alas, these are the only two texts critical of deconstruction that I have ever found that also understand it.’
    • ‘Derrida has two main ways of exposing these textual interplays, deconstruction and double reading.’
    • ‘In philosophical terms, deconstruction is a form of relativist scepticism in the tradition of Nietzsche.’
    • ‘Many authors have criticized Derrida's attempts to find an ethical basis for deconstruction.’
    analysis, examination, study, inspection, scrutiny, scrutinization, probe, probing, exploration, investigation, enquiry
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Origin

Late 19th century (originally in the general sense ‘taking to pieces’): from de- (expressing reversal) + construction.

Pronunciation

deconstruction

/ˌdēkənˈstrəkSHən//ˌdikənˈstrəkʃən/