constitute

verb con·sti·tute \ ˈkän(t)-stə-ˌtüt , -ˌtyüt \
Updated on: 12 Dec 2017

Definition of constitute

constituted; constituting
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.

Examples of constitute in a Sentence

  1. Women constitute 70 percent of the student population at the college.

  2. nine players constitute a baseball team

Recent Examples of constitute from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of constitute

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

constitute Synonyms


CONSTITUTE Defined for English Language Learners

constitute

verb

Definition of constitute for English Language Learners

  • : 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 Defined for Kids

constitute

verb con·sti·tute \ ˈkän-stə-ˌtüt , -ˌtyüt \

Definition of constitute for Students

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

Law Dictionary

constitute

transitive verb con·sti·tute \ ˈkän-stə-ˌtüt, -ˌtyüt \

legal Definition of constitute

1 : to appoint to an office or function
  • those who are constituted heirs or named legatees
  • Louisiana Civil Code
  • legal authority constitutes all magistrates
2 : establish, found
  • to constitute tribunals inferior to the Supreme Court
  • U.S. Constitution art. I
3 a : 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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