constitute

verb
con·​sti·​tute | \ ˈkän(t)-stə-ˌtüt, -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

Their plight is common across the educational system, where adjuncts constitute 76.4% of U.S. faculty across all U.S. universities and colleges. Kim Kelly, Teen Vogue, "Education Workers on Campuses Around the Country Are Demanding Better Labor Conditions," 10 Jan. 2019 My fear is that Democrats have staked out a position so extreme that any common-sense compromise involving a physical barrier will constitute a serious political loss for them. Dan Crenshaw, WSJ, "The Silly Arguments Against a Border Wall," 10 Jan. 2019 Such a move is sure to spark a flood of legal challenges questioning the president’s authority as well as whether the situation at the border really constitutes an emergency. Jill Colvin, The Seattle Times, "AP Explains: Can Trump declare emergency to build his wall?," 8 Jan. 2019 However, the system has changed; now, the private inspectors report directly to the city if the unit passed or failed, constituting a state action and, according to the suit, a privacy violation. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Seattle’s mandatory rental inspection law challenged in lawsuit," 6 Dec. 2018 These remnants would help bridge incompatible theories of the cosmos at its largest and smallest scales, as well as possibly constitute a sizable portion of the presently unaccounted-for dark matter. Adam Hadhazy, Discover Magazine, "Scientists Hunt for A Seeming Paradox: A Magnet With Only One Pole," 13 Nov. 2018 In 2007, a Mexican federal judge decided that the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre constituted a genocide but the government was not responsible. Andalusia Knoll, Teen Vogue, "What to Know About the 1968 Tlatelolco Plaza Student Massacre," 2 Oct. 2018 The absence of children and women hints that the dead constituted an unsuccessful attacking, rather than attacked, group. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "7,000-Year-Old German Grave Shows New Side of Neolithic Brutality," 11 July 2018 The district court decided that the delay and ultimate denial of treatment did not constitute deliberate indifference by Kallas. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Transgender inmate can sue over denial of hormone treatment, U.S. Appeals Court rules," 11 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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Last Updated

15 Jan 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

: 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, -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 \

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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to gather or build up little by little

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