Definition of constitution
1 : an established law or custom : ordinance
2a : the physical makeup of the individual especially with respect to the health, strength, and appearance of the body a hearty constitutionb : the structure, composition, physical makeup, or nature of something the constitution of society
3 : the act of establishing, making, or setting up before the constitution of civil laws
4 : the mode in which a state or society is organized; especially : the manner in which sovereign power is distributed
5a : the basic principles and laws of a nation, state, or social group that determine the powers and duties of the government and guarantee certain rights to the people in itb : a written instrument embodying the rules of a political or social organization
constitutionlessplay \ˌkän(t)-stə-ˈtü-shən-ləs, -ˈtyü-\ adjective
Examples of constitution in a Sentence
The state's constitution has strict rules about what tax money can be used for.
Members of the club have drafted a new constitution.
The state's original constitution is on display at the museum.
He has a robust constitution.
Only animals with strong constitutions are able to survive the island's harsh winters.
What is the molecular constitution of the chemical?
Recent Examples of constitution from the Web
His was a member of the Young Turks, a group of reform-minded freshmen lawmakers who were instrumental in rewriting Louisiana's state constitution in 1972.
But thanks to the German constitution, Bismarck didn’t have to worry about pleasing the populace; his chancellorship was approved solely by Wilhelm I.
A county judge held that denying coverage for this procedure violated the state constitution.
The object in question is the body of the constitution.
Maduro and his socialist administration, meanwhile, are pursuing unpopular plans to overhaul the constitution.
Organizers believe Mr. Trump has violated the U.S. constitution and obstructed justice.
The attorney general's office said the ordinance did pass muster with the state's constitution.
Not so in New Jersey, where the state’s Constitution requires the government to suspend spending aside from public safety and emergency services if a balanced budget is not in place by the start of the fiscal year.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'constitution.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
CONSTITUTION Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of constitution for English Language Learners
: the system of beliefs and laws by which a country, state, or organization is governed
: a document that describes this system
: the physical health and condition of a person or animal
CONSTITUTION Defined for Kids
Definition of constitution for Students
1 : the physical makeup of an individual
2 : the basic structure of something
3 : the basic beliefs and laws of a nation, state, or social group by which the powers and duties of the government are established and certain rights are guaranteed to the people or a document that sets forth these beliefs and laws
Medical Definition of constitution
1: the physical makeup of the individual comprising inherited qualities modified by environment
2: the structure of a compound as determined by the kind, number, and arrangement of atoms in its molecule
constitutional\-shnəl, -shən-əl\play adjective
Legal Definition of constitution
1 : the basic principles and laws of a nation, state, or social group that determine the powers and duties of the government and guarantee certain rights to the people in it
Additional Notes on constitution
A constitution was originally simply a law, ordinance, or decree usually made by a king, emperor, or other superior authority. A constitution now usually contains the fundamental law and principles with which all other laws must conform. Unlike the U.S. Constitution, the British Constitution is not set down in a comprehensive document, but is found in a variety of statutes (as the Magna Carta) and in common law. Canada inherited many of the rules and practices that are considered part of the British Constitution, but the Constitution of Canada is also set down in comprehensive documents, such as the Constitution Act, 1982 and the Constitution Act, 1867 (formerly called the British North America Act, 1867).
Origin and Etymology of constitution
Latin constitutio system, fundamental principles (of an institution), from constituere to set up, establish
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