constitute

verb

con·​sti·​tute ˈkän(t)-stə-ˌtüt How to pronounce constitute (audio)
-ˌtyüt
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

Women constitute 70 percent of the student population at the college. nine players constitute a baseball team
Recent Examples on the Web This Press Release does not constitute an offer of any securities for sale. Miami Herald, 9 Apr. 2024 But Republican governors are split, with 14 in, 13 out and no consensus on what constitutes conservative principle. Jason Deparle, New York Times, 9 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for constitute 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'constitute.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

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

Dictionary Entries Near constitute

Cite this Entry

“Constitute.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/constitute. Accessed 20 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

constitute

verb
con·​sti·​tute ˈkän(t)-stə-ˌt(y)üt How to pronounce constitute (audio)
constituted; constituting
1
: to appoint to an office or duty
constituted authorities
2
: set up sense 4, establish
a fund was constituted to help needy students
3
: make up sense 2, form
twelve months constitute a year

Legal Definition

constitute

transitive verb
con·​sti·​tute ˈkän-stə-ˌtüt, -ˌtyüt How to pronounce constitute (audio)
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
3
a
: to put (as an agreement) into required form
b
: to qualify as
a letter can constitute a willW. 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

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