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.

Synonyms for constitute


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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 Together these constitute Web3, a decentralized approach to turning the Internet into the Metaverse that would redistribute the Internet, or the Metaverse, to a decentralized network. Charlie Fink, Forbes, 30 Apr. 2022 Inflation in services, which constitute more than 60% of the consumer-price index, will accelerate. Mickey D. Levy, WSJ, 14 Mar. 2022 Parents who currently or previously received government assistance constitute more than 75% of the child support caseload in California, according to the state Department of Finance. Mackenzie Mays Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 28 Feb. 2022 Christians constitute just over 2% of India’s 1.4 billion population – a demographic that has not significantly changed over the decades – and Muslims make up roughly 15%. Sarita Santoshini, The Christian Science Monitor, 1 Feb. 2022 The study found that Hispanic women make up 7% of Connecticut’s population but constitute 4% of the current state workforce. Daniela Altimari,, 3 Jan. 2022 Black residents, who made up 67% of the area in 2010, now constitute roughly 50%, dropping from 4,345 to 3,401 in the past decade. Amelia Pak-harvey, The Indianapolis Star, 9 Dec. 2021 Zuckerberg believes the initiative will spur creativity and allow digitally minded individuals to earn a living in the connected 3D virtual and augmented reality environments that constitute the metaverse. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, 12 Apr. 2022 Here’s an illustration of these anatomical structures that constitute the pre-brain portion of your visual pathway: Any kind of retinal detachment can interrupt this pathway. Bruce Y. Lee, Forbes, 9 Apr. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for constitute

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near constitute

constituta pecunia



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Last Updated

15 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Constitute.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for constitute


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


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

More from Merriam-Webster on constitute

Nglish: Translation of constitute for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of constitute for Arabic Speakers


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