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[kon-sti-too-shuh n, -tyoo-] /ˌkɒn stɪˈtu ʃən, -ˈtyu-/
the system of fundamental principles according to which a nation, state, corporation, or the like, is governed.
the document embodying these principles.
(initial capital letter) Constitution of the United States.
the way in which a thing is composed or made up; makeup; composition:
the chemical constitution of the cleanser.
the physical character of the body as to strength, health, etc.:
He has a strong constitution.
Medicine/Medical, Psychology. the aggregate of a person's physical and psychological characteristics.
the act or process of constituting; establishment.
the state of being constituted; formation.
any established arrangement or custom.
Archaic. character or condition of mind; disposition; temperament.
Origin of constitution
1350-1400; Middle English constitucion edict, ordinance < Anglo-French < Latin constitūtiōn- (stem of constitūtiō). See constitute, -ion
Related forms
anticonstitution, adjective

Constitution, The

an American 44-gun frigate, famous for its exploits in the War of 1812 and popularly called “Old Ironsides.”. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for constitution


the act of constituting or state of being constituted
the way in which a thing is composed; physical make-up; structure
the fundamental political principles on which a state is governed, esp when considered as embodying the rights of the subjects of that state
(often capital) (in certain countries, esp Australia and the US) a statute embodying such principles
a person's state of health
a person's disposition of mind; temperament
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for constitution

mid-14c., "law, regulation, edict," from Old French constitucion (12c.) "constitution, establishment," and directly from Latin constitutionem (nominative constitutio) "act of settling, settled condition, anything arranged or settled upon, regulation, order, ordinance," from constitut-, past participle stem of constituere (see constitute).

Meaning "action of establishing" is from 1580s; that of "way in which a thing is constituted" is from c.1600; that of "physical health, strength and vigor of the body" is from 1550s; of the mind, "temperament, character" from 1580s. Sense of "mode of organization of a state" is from c.1600; that of "system of principles by which a community is governed" dates from 1730s; especially of a document of written laws since the U.S. and French constitutions, late 18c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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constitution in Medicine

constitution con·sti·tu·tion (kŏn'stĭ-tōō'shən, -tyōō'-)

  1. The physical makeup of the body, including its functions, metabolic processes, reactions to stimuli, and resistance to the attack of pathogenic organisms.

  2. The composition or structure of a molecule.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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constitution in Culture

Constitution definition

The fundamental law of the United States, drafted in Philadelphia in 1787 (see Constitutional Convention), ratified in 1788, and put into effect in 1789. It established a strong central government in place of the Articles of Confederation. (See Preamble to the Constitution.)

constitution definition

A nation or state's fundamental set of laws. Most nations with constitutions have them in written form, such as the United States Constitution. The constitution of Britain, by contrast, is an informal set of traditions, based on several different laws.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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