un·con·sti·tu·tion·al | \ ˌən-ˌkän(t)-stə-ˈtü-shnəl , -ˈtyü- , -shə-nᵊl \

Definition of unconstitutional 

: not according or consistent with the constitution of a body politic (such as a nation) an unconstitutional infringement on rights

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Other words from unconstitutional

unconstitutionality \ˌən-ˌkän(t)-stə-ˌtü-shə-ˈna-lə-tē, -ˌtyü- \ noun
unconstitutionally adverb

Examples of unconstitutional in a Sentence

an unconstitutional infringement of rights The law may be unconstitutional.

Recent Examples on the Web

Blum’s group accuses Harvard of using the documents to balance the racial makeup of the incoming class, a practice that has been ruled unconstitutional in previous court cases. Washington Post, "Suit alleging bias pulls back curtain on Harvard admissions," 9 July 2018 The controversial state law was ruled unconstitutional in 1968. sandiegouniontribune.com, "July 7, 1955: Steinmetz called Communist at hearing," 7 July 2018 Whoever the next nominee is, considering race in university admissions—which Mr Kennedy deemed narrowly permissible in 2016—will probably be deemed unconstitutional. The Economist, "A court with a solid conservative majority could reshape American life," 5 July 2018 Justice Malgorzata Gersdorf, the court’s president, refused to retire, calling the change in the retirement age unconstitutional. Marc Santora, New York Times, "Polish Crisis Deepens as Judges Condemn Their Own Court," 5 July 2018 Industry giants are bemoaning the tax, calling it unconstitutional and banding together to file a lawsuit in Commonwealth Court. Vinny Vella, Philly.com, "Fireworks sales are booming in Pennsylvania thanks to a change in the law," 30 June 2018 In Friedrichs, the even split sent a clear signal: that all four of the court’s remaining conservative justices would vote to rule fair-share fees unconstitutional. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Supreme Court’s Conservatives Take Their Long-Awaited Shot at Unions," 27 June 2018 Much of the law would be deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court less than a year later. Tarleton Gillespie, WIRED, "How Social Networks Set the Limits of What We Can Say Online," 26 June 2018 Racial gerrymandering — that is, the intentional manipulation of district boundaries in a way to favor one group of voters and disempower another — has already had its day in court and been found unconstitutional. Cristian Farias, Daily Intelligencer, "Why the Supreme Court Keeps Dodging the Question of Partisan Gerrymandering," 18 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'unconstitutional.' 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 unconstitutional

1734, in the meaning defined above

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1 Sep 2018

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The first known use of unconstitutional was in 1734

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English Language Learners Definition of unconstitutional

: not allowed by the constitution of a country or government : not constitutional


un·con·sti·tu·tion·al | \ ˌən-ˌkän-stə-ˈtü-shə-nᵊl , -ˈtyü- \

Kids Definition of unconstitutional

: not according to or agreeing with the constitution of a country or government


un·con·sti·tu·tion·al | \ ˌən-ˌkän-stə-ˈtü-shə-nəl, -ˈtyü- \

Legal Definition of unconstitutional 

: contrary to or failing to comply with a constitution especially : violative of a person's rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution an unconstitutional search and seizure

Other words from unconstitutional

unconstitutionality \-ˌtü-shə-ˈna-lə-tē, -ˌtyü- \ noun
unconstitutionally adverb

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Britannica English: Translation of unconstitutional for Arabic Speakers

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