Constitution



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) .
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 ; establishment.
the state of being ; formation.
any established arrangement or custom.
Archaic. character or condition of mind; disposition; temperament.
an American 44-gun frigate, famous for its exploits in the War of 1812 and popularly called “Old Ironsides.”.
Contemporary Examples

Ensure that U.S. persons, both citizens and lawful immigrants, are protected by the constitution.
The Essential Spy Guide Henry A. Crumpton May 1, 2013

But as Coulter says, No one is claiming that the constitution gives each person an unalienable right not to buy insurance.
Three Cheers for Ann Coulter David Frum February 1, 2012

He has upheld his oath of office to support the constitution.
‘Assange Is in Some Danger’ Samuel P. Jacobs June 10, 2010

As a former ticket topper for the constitution Party, his platform goes beyond abortion.
The Candidate Named “Pro-Life” Michael Ames October 30, 2010

My duty, rather, is to “decide cases ‘agreeably to the constitution and laws of the United States.’ ”
Clarence Thomas and DOMA Michael Tomasky May 30, 2012

Historical Examples

In 1858, an attempt was made to save it by revolutionizing its constitution and management.
Cleveland Past and Present Maurice Joblin

Her old man’s constitution was never robust, and this was too much.
Punchinello, Vol. 1. No. 20, August 13, 1870 Various

Try to get a little iron and quinine into your constitution.
Expositions of Holy Scripture Alexander Maclaren

The constitution is neither a legislative crazy-quilt nor a receptacle of fads.
‘Tis Sixty Years Since Charles Francis Adams

The constitution is a “compact, to which the States are the parties.”
The Life of John Marshall Volume 4 of 4 Albert J. Beveridge

noun
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
n.

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.

constitution con·sti·tu·tion (kŏn’stĭ-tōō’shən, -tyōō’-)
n.

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

The composition or structure of a molecule.

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.)

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.

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