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 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 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, 18 July 2019 There is no experience outside these constitutive conditions. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, 29 June 2018 In such situations, space is not just a background canvas, but becomes constitutive of the utopian. Longreads, 21 Jan. 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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Time Traveler for constitutive

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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 23 Jun. 2021.

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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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