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

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 And both suggest that the impulse to cheat, cut corners and get over on chumps, if not inflict harm upon them outright, is far from some aberrant pathology in the American identity but rather a constitutive force. New York Times, 9 Feb. 2022 The argument that something like PTSD existed prior to industrialization must be sustained with evidence of symptoms constitutive of the modern definition. Will Self, Harper's Magazine, 23 Nov. 2021 White supremacy has always been a constitutive piece of American national identity, but it cannot be openly claimed in a nation also founded on belief in democracy and freedom. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 11 Aug. 2021 Being part of the world of buying and selling is constitutive of what the visual arts have meant and have been since the end of the medieval era. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 5 Apr. 2021 Her life emblematized the concept of intersectionality, a term coined in 1989 by Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw to describe the ways in which distinct social identities, such as race and gender, are mutually constitutive. Emily Bernard, The New Republic, 25 Mar. 2021 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, 30 Mar. 2020 All of the above suggest some cognitive architecture defined by constitutive and causal relations between processes. Dean Mobbs, Scientific American, 20 Sep. 2019 Clothing trends aren’t reflective of change, but rather constitutive of change. Marlen Komar, Time, 20 Sep. 2019 See More

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.

First Known Use of constitutive

1592, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About constitutive

Time Traveler for constitutive

Time Traveler

The first known use of constitutive was in 1592

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near constitutive

constitution mirror



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for constitutive

Cite this Entry

“Constitutive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!