con·​sti·​tu·​tive | \ ˈkän(t)-stə-ˌtü-tiv How to pronounce constitutive (audio) , -ˌtyü-; kən-ˈsti-chə-tiv How to pronounce constitutive (audio) \

Definition of constitutive

1 : having the power to enact or establish : constructive
3 : relating to or dependent on constitution a constitutive property of all electrolytes

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Other Words from constitutive

constitutively adverb

Examples of constitutive in a Sentence

the proposition that liberty and justice are constitutive elements of an enlightened society
Recent Examples on the Web Alice was shut down because the exercise threatened the most constitutive element of whiteness: white people are the police. Frank B. Wilderson Iii, Harper's Magazine, "Color Theory," 30 Mar. 2020 All of the above suggest some cognitive architecture defined by constitutive and causal relations between processes. Dean Mobbs, Scientific American, "On the Nature of Fear," 20 Sep. 2019 Clothing trends aren’t reflective of change, but rather constitutive of change. Marlen Komar, Time, "Tights Are Now a Fall Fashion Staple—But They Were Once a Revolutionary Style Statement," 20 Sep. 2019 But in another sense, as the historian Edmund Morgan argued so powerfully nearly half a century ago, slavery and freedom were not at odds, but integrally intertwined, even mutually constitutive. Drew Gilpin Faust, The Atlantic, "Race, History, and Memories of a Virginia Girlhood," 18 July 2019 There is no experience outside these constitutive conditions. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "Anthony Kennedy and the Death of True American Conservatism," 29 June 2018 In such situations, space is not just a background canvas, but becomes constitutive of the utopian. Longreads, "Living Differently: How the Feminist Utopia Is Something You Have to Be Doing Now," 21 Jan. 2017 These days, opposition to the other party not only defines political discourse but is becoming a constitutive element of people’s identities. Theodore Kupfer, National Review, "Money Isn’t Everything on the Campaign Trail," 29 Sep. 2017 And being true to itself means understanding that our constitutive principles apply beyond our borders. William A. Galston, WSJ, "What Does Trump Mean by ‘the West’?," 11 July 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'constitutive.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of constitutive

1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of constitutive was in 1592

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Cite this Entry

“Constitutive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for constitutive


con·​sti·​tu·​tive | \ ˈkän(t)-stə-ˌt(y)üt-iv How to pronounce constitutive (audio) , kən-ˈstich-ət-iv How to pronounce constitutive (audio) \

Medical Definition of constitutive

1a : of, relating to, or being an enzyme or protein produced in relatively constant amounts in all cells of an organism without regard to cell environmental conditions (as the concentration of a substrate) — compare inducible sense a
b : controlling production of or coding genetic information for a constitutive enzyme or protein constitutive genes constitutive mutations
2 : being chromatin of a chromosomal region that is condensed into heterochromatin in all cells of an organism rather than just some

Other Words from constitutive

constitutively adverb

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