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constituent

[kuh n-stich-oo-uh nt]
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adjective
  1. serving to compose or make up a thing; component: the constituent parts of a motor.
  2. having power to frame or alter a political constitution or fundamental law, as distinguished from lawmaking power: a constituent assembly.
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noun
  1. a constituent element, material, etc.; component.
  2. a person who authorizes another to act in his or her behalf, as a voter in a district represented by an elected official.
  3. Grammar. an element considered as part of a construction.
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Origin of constituent

1615–25; < Latin constituent- (stem of constituēns, present participle of constituere to set up, found, constitute), equivalent to con- con- + -stitu- (combining form of statuere to set up) + -ent- -ent
Related formscon·stit·u·ent·ly, adverbnon·con·stit·u·ent, adjective, nounpre·con·stit·u·ent, noun

Synonyms

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3. See element.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

divisionfundamentalintegralfactorportionfractionbasicessentialingredientofficialcitizencomponentboardpartprincipleunitplug-inelementalelectoral

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British Dictionary definitions for constituent

constituent

adjective (prenominal)
  1. forming part of a whole; component
  2. having the power to frame a constitution or to constitute a government (esp in the phrases constituent assembly, constituent power)
  3. rare electing or having the power to elect
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noun
  1. a component part; ingredient
  2. a resident of a constituency, esp one entitled to vote
  3. mainly law a person who appoints another to act for him, as by power of attorney
  4. linguistics a word, phrase, or clause forming a part of a larger constructionCompare immediate constituent, ultimate constituent
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Derived Formsconstituently, adverb

Word Origin

C17: from Latin constituēns setting up, from constituere to establish, constitute
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

Word Origin and History for constituent

n.

1620s, "one who appoints or elects a representative," from Latin constituentem (nominative constituens), present participle of constituere (see constitute). The notion is "to make up or compose" a body by appointing or electing a representative. As an adjective, "essential, characteristic," from 1660s; "that appoints or elects a representative to a body," from 1714.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper