constitute

verb
con·​sti·​tute | \ ˈkän(t)-stə-ˌtüt How to pronounce constitute (audio) , -ˌtyüt\
constituted; constituting

Definition of constitute

transitive verb

1 : make up, form, compose 12 months constitute a year. … high school dropouts who constitute a major problem in large city slums.— J. B. Conant
2 : set up, establish: such as
a : enact regulations as are constituted by the government
b : found constitute a provisional government
c(1) : to give due or lawful form to an agreement constituted by writing
(2) : to legally process
3 : to appoint to an office, function, or dignity Legal authority constitutes all magistrates.

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Synonyms for constitute

Synonyms

compose, comprise, form, make up

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Examples of constitute in a Sentence

Women constitute 70 percent of the student population at the college. nine players constitute a baseball team

Recent Examples on the Web

According to a 2016 survey from Planned Parenthood, many adults don't agree on what constitutes consent. Brittney Mcnamara, Teen Vogue, "Can Porn Help People Understand Consent?," 30 Apr. 2019 That arguing over what constitutes a family to begin with, really does begin in this period. Robert Sullivan, Vogue, "Political Division? That’s Nothing New," 7 Mar. 2019 The difference between urgent and emergency care boils down to what constitutes a medical emergency. Cassie Shortsleeve, SELF, "When to Go to Urgent Care Vs. the ER," 16 Feb. 2019 There is no legal definition of what constitutes as a mass shooting, per PolitiFact California. Kaylen Ralph, Teen Vogue, "68 Mass Shootings Have Occurred Since Virginia Tech," 16 Apr. 2019 And expect your terrestrial sense of what constitutes an amenity to change: Since venturing outdoors would be a complex, risky prospect, a space hotel will prioritize the gym, both to maintain fitness and stave off cabin fever. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "The Tourist's Guide to Space," 12 Mar. 2019 Never had the pathway to citizenship, which again tells us, what constitutes citizenship? Eric Johnson, Recode, "Full Q&A: ‘Dear America’ author Jose Antonio Vargas on Recode Decode," 24 Nov. 2018 In a 39-page rebuttal on Dec. 10 to the SEC, Kik argued the sale terms, in fact, do not constitute an investment contract and that investors weren’t led to expect to profit on their purchase of kin. Dave Michaels, WSJ, "Are ICO Tokens Securities? Startup Wants a Judge to Decide," 27 Jan. 2019 The entries do not constitute a scientific gauge of public opinion. Rick Hampson, USA TODAY, "Celebrating Independence Day in America's detention camps – during World War II and now," 2 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'constitute.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of constitute

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for constitute

Middle English, from Latin constitutus, past participle of constituere to set up, constitute, from com- + statuere to set — more at statute

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Statistics for constitute

Last Updated

21 May 2019

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Time Traveler for constitute

The first known use of constitute was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for constitute

constitute

verb

English Language Learners Definition of constitute

formal
: to make up or form something
: to be the same as something : to be equivalent to something
: to establish or create (an organization, a government, etc.)

constitute

verb
con·​sti·​tute | \ ˈkän-stə-ˌtüt How to pronounce constitute (audio) , -ˌtyüt\
constituted; constituting

Kids Definition of constitute

1 : to form the whole of Twelve months constitute a year.
2 : to establish or create constitute a new government

constitute

transitive verb
con·​sti·​tute | \ ˈkän-stə-ˌtüt, -ˌtyüt How to pronounce constitute (audio) \

Legal Definition of constitute

1 : to appoint to an office or function those who are constituted heirs or named legateesLouisiana Civil Code legal authority constitutes all magistrates
2 : establish, found to constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme CourtU.S. Constitution art. I
3a : to put (as an agreement) into required form
b : to qualify as a letter can constitute a will— W. M. McGovern, Jr. et al. failure to act may constitute negligence
c : to form the substance or whole of the bonds constituted the entire estate

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