constitution

noun con·sti·tu·tion \ ˌkän(t)-stə-ˈtü-shən , -ˈtyü- \
Updated on: 13 Dec 2017

Definition of constitution

1 a : 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
b : a written instrument embodying the rules of a political or social organization
2 a : the physical makeup of the individual especially with respect to the health, strength, and appearance of the body
  • a hearty constitution
b : the structure, composition, physical makeup, or nature of something
  • the constitution of society
3 : the mode in which a state or society is organized; especially : the manner in which sovereign power is distributed
4 : an established law or custom : ordinance
5 : the act of establishing, making, or setting up
  • before the constitution of civil laws

constitutionless

play \ˌkän(t)-stə-ˈtü-shən-ləs, -ˈtyü-\ adjective

Examples of constitution in a Sentence

  1. The state's constitution has strict rules about what tax money can be used for.

  2. Members of the club have drafted a new constitution.

  3. The state's original constitution is on display at the museum.

  4. He has a robust constitution.

  5. Only animals with strong constitutions are able to survive the island's harsh winters.

  6. What is the molecular constitution of the chemical?

Recent Examples of constitution from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of constitution


CONSTITUTION Defined for English Language Learners

constitution

noun

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

constitution

noun con·sti·tu·tion \ ˌkän-stə-ˈtü-shən , -ˈtyü- \

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 Dictionary

constitution

noun con·sti·tu·tion \ ˌkän(t)-stə-ˈt(y)ü-shən \

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

play \-shnəl, -shən-ᵊl\ adjective

Law Dictionary

constitution

noun con·sti·tu·tion

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
2 : a written instrument containing the fundamental rules of a political or social organization; especiallycapitalized : the U.S. Constitution — compare charter, declaration
Note: 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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