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
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.
Many of Maduro’s opponents took to social media to accuse the president of orchestrating an elaborate ruse to justify a crackdown against Venezuelans seeking to block his plans to rewrite the constitution.
Protesters accuse Maduro of carrying out an authoritarian regime by jailing opposition leaders, censoring certain news outlets, and attempting to rewrite the nation’s constitution for political gains.
In states without such caps, even if the state constitution prohibits them or state courts have struck them down, the federal $250,000 cap would apply.
The day after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed SB 4 into law, the city of El Cenizo and Maverick County sued Texas kicked off the lawsuit, saying the bill violated the Texas and U.S. constitutions.
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
Learn More about constitution
See words that rhyme with constitution Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for constitution Spanish Central: Translation of constitution Nglish: Translation of constitution for Spanish speakers Britannica English: Translation of constitution for Arabic speakers Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about constitution
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up constitution? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).