unwritten constitution


Definition of unwritten constitution

: a constitution not embodied in a single document but based chiefly on custom and precedent as expressed in statutes and judicial decisions

Examples of unwritten constitution in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Nineteenth-century Britons celebrated their unwritten constitution. Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, 22 Mar. 2021 Until the American Revolution, most free countries in the world preferred an unwritten constitution of customs and norms established over time. Cameron Hilditch, National Review, 26 Nov. 2020 Britain’s unwritten constitution does not have a clear rule for what happens if a prime minister becomes incapacitated or dies. Danica Kirka, Anchorage Daily News, 7 Apr. 2020 Britain's unwritten constitution does not have a clear rule for what happens if a prime minister becomes incapacitated or dies. Anchorage Daily News, 7 Apr. 2020 But that criticism rests on a misunderstanding about the role of judges in the U.K.’s unwritten constitution. James Grant, Time, 25 Sep. 2019 Intended to be adaptable and robust, Britain’s unwritten constitution was in danger of amplifying the chaos caused by Brexit, in a way that threatened the union itself. The Economist, 21 Dec. 2019 The Prorogue Gallery of Brexit Judges The legal challenge to the powers of the prime minister shows how the political infighting over Brexit has strained Britain’s largely unwritten constitution to its limits. Jonathan Browning, Bloomberg.com, 24 Sep. 2019 Under the country's unwritten constitution, Parliament, the government and the courts have defined roles in balancing out the others' decisions. Aimee Lewis, CNN, 24 Sep. 2019

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

1890, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of unwritten constitution was in 1890

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Dictionary Entries Near unwritten constitution


unwritten constitution

unwritten law

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Cite this Entry

“Unwritten constitution.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unwritten%20constitution. Accessed 2 Aug. 2021.

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