[ kon-sti-too-tiv, -tyoo- ]
/ ˈkɒn stɪˌtu tɪv, -ˌtyu- /


constituent; making a thing what it is; essential.
having power to establish or enact.
Physics, Chemistry. pertaining to a molecular property determined primarily by the arrangement of atoms in the molecule rather than by their nature or number.

Nearby words

  1. constitutionalism,
  2. constitutionalist,
  3. constitutionality,
  4. constitutionalize,
  5. constitutionally,
  6. constr.,
  7. constrain,
  8. constrained,
  9. constraint,
  10. constrict

Origin of constitutive

First recorded in 1585–95; constitute + -ive

Related formscon·sti·tu·tive·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for constitutive

British Dictionary definitions for constitutive


/ (ˈkɒnstɪˌtjuːtɪv) /


having power to enact, appoint, or establish
chem (of a physical property) determined by the arrangement of atoms in a molecule rather than by their nature
biochem (of an enzyme) formed continuously, irrespective of the cell's needs
another word for constituent (def. 1)
Derived Formsconstitutively, adverb

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 constitutive



c.1600, "having the power of establishing," also "elemental, essential," from Medieval Latin *constitutivus, from constitut-, past participle stem of constituere (see constitute). Related: Constitutively.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper