[kon-sti-toot, -tyoot]
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verb (used with object), con·sti·tut·ed, con·sti·tut·ing.
  1. to compose; form: mortar constituted of lime and sand.
  2. to appoint to an office or function; make or create: He was constituted treasurer.
  3. to establish (laws, an institution, etc.).
  4. to give legal form to (an assembly, court, etc.).
  5. to create or be tantamount to: Imports constitute a challenge to local goods.
  6. Archaic. to set or place.

Origin of constitute

1400–50; late Middle English < Latin constitūtus (past participle of constituere; see constituent), equivalent to con- con- + -stitūtus, combining form of statūtum, past participle of statuere to set up. See statute
Related formscon·sti·tut·er, con·sti·tu·tor, nounnon·con·sti·tut·ed, adjectivepre·con·sti·tute, verb (used with object), pre·con·sti·tut·ed, pre·con·sti·tut·ing.self-con·sti·tut·ed, adjectiveself-con·sti·tut·ing, adjectiveun·con·sti·tut·ed, adjectivewell-con·sti·tut·ed, adjective

Synonyms for constitute

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for constitute


verb (tr)
  1. to make up; form; composethe people who constitute a jury
  2. to appoint to an office or functiona legally constituted officer
  3. to set up (a school or other institution) formally; found
  4. law to give legal form to (a court, assembly, etc)
  5. law obsolete to set up or enact (a law)
Derived Formsconstituter or constitutor, noun

Word Origin for constitute

C15: from Latin constituere, from com- (intensive) + statuere to place
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 constitute

mid-15c., verb use of adjective constitute, "made up, formed" (late 14c.), from Latin constitutus "arranged, settled," past participle adjective from constituere "to cause to stand, set up, fix, place, establish, set in order; form something new; resolve," of persons, "to appoint to an office," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + statuere "to set," from PIE root *sta- "to stand," with derivatives meaning "place or thing that is standing" (see stet). Related: Constituted; constituting.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper