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.

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for constitute

Synonyms

compose, comprise, form, make up

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

The wide-ranging plan constitutes Buttigieg’s initial version of a proposal for reparations for slavery. NBC News, "Biden to lay out foreign policy vision aimed at putting the U.S. 'back at the head of the table'," 11 July 2019 Their sense of grievance might seem unlikely: In Sri Lanka and Myanmar, two countries that are on the forefront of a radical religious-nationalist movement, Buddhists constitute overwhelming majorities of the population. Hannah Beech, New York Times, "‘Our Duty to Fight’: The Rise of Militant Buddhism," 8 July 2019 The resulting revenues constitute a spectacular 20 percent of the nation’s GDP. Brett Berk, WIRED, "Norway Invites You to Explore Its Electric Vehicle Paradise," 6 July 2019 Super Duties constitute around a third of sales for the F-series pickups, which have been America’s best-selling vehicles for 42 years. Detroit Free Press, "New package turns Ford F-250 and 350 pickups into off-road beasts," 27 June 2019 Their review does not constitute an endorsement of our methods or our discussion, and any errors are our own. Jeff Kao And Jack Gillum, ProPublica, "Methodology: How We Tested an Aggression Detection Algorithm," 25 June 2019 For its occupants, the aeroplane constitutes the entire universe. The Economist, "China’s grand, gloomy sci-fi is going global," 22 June 2019 Yes, Turns 6 and 6a constitute a 200-degree change of direction — a U-turn and then some. Tom Fitzgerald, SFChronicle.com, "Even more twists and turns at Sonoma: The Carousel is back," 20 June 2019 The finance sector, which in Eisenhower’s day represented 3.7 percent of the economy, today constitutes about 8.5 percent. Win Mccormack, The New Republic, "The Green New Deal: A Capitalist Plot (Part 1)," 20 June 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about constitute

Statistics for constitute

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for constitute

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on constitute

What made you want to look up constitute? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

providing supplementary assistance

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!