Constitution Con`sti*tu"tion (k[o^]n`st[ict]*t[=u]"sh[u^]n), n. [F. constitution, L. constitutio.] 1. The act or process of constituting; the action of enacting, establishing, or appointing; enactment; establishment; formation. [1913 Webster]

2. The state of being; that form of being, or structure and connection of parts, which constitutes and characterizes a system or body; natural condition; structure; texture; conformation. [1913 Webster]

The physical constitution of the sun. --Sir J. Herschel. [1913 Webster]

3. The aggregate of all one's inherited physical qualities; the aggregate of the vital powers of an individual, with reference to ability to endure hardship, resist disease, etc.; as, a robust constitution. [1913 Webster]

Our constitutions have never been enfeebled by the vices or luxuries of the old world. --Story. [1913 Webster]

4. The aggregate of mental qualities; temperament. [1913 Webster]

He defended himself with . . . less passion than was expected from his constitution. --Clarendon. [1913 Webster]

5. The fundamental, organic law or principles of government of men, embodied in written documents, or implied in the institutions and usages of the country or society; also, a written instrument embodying such organic law, and laying down fundamental rules and principles for the conduct of affairs. [1913 Webster]

Our constitution had begun to exist in times when statesmen were not much accustomed to frame exact definitions. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

Note: In England the constitution is unwritten, and may be modified from time to time by act of Parliament. In the United States a constitution cannot ordinarily be modified, exept through such processes as the constitution itself ordains. [1913 Webster]

6. An authoritative ordinance, regulation or enactment; especially, one made by a Roman emperor, or one affecting ecclesiastical doctrine or discipline; as, the constitutions of Justinian. [1913 Webster]

The positive constitutions of our own churches. --Hooker. [1913 Webster]

A constitution of Valentinian addressed to Olybrius, then prefect of Rome, for the regulation of the conduct of advocates. --George Long. [1913 Webster]

{Apostolic constitutions}. See under {Apostolic}. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • constitution — [ kɔ̃stitysjɔ̃ ] n. f. • constitucion « ordonnance, règlement » v. 1170; lat. constitutio « institution » I ♦ 1 ♦ Dr. Action d établir légalement. ⇒ établissement, institution. Constitution de rente, de pension. Constitution de partie civile :… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • constitution — con·sti·tu·tion n [Latin constitutio system, fundamental principles (of an institution), from constituere to set up, establish] 1: the basic principles and laws of a nation, state, or social group that determine the powers and duties of the… …   Law dictionary

  • constitution — con‧sti‧tu‧tion [ˌkɒnstˈtjuːʆn ǁ ˌkɑːnstˈtuː ] noun [countable] 1. LAW the system of basic laws and principles that a democratic country is governed by, which cannot easily be changed by the political party in power: • The First Amendment of… …   Financial and business terms

  • constitution — CONSTITUTION. subs. f. Composition. La forme et la matière entrent dans la constitution du corps naturel. f♛/b] Il se dit aussi De l établissement, de la creation d une rente, d une pension; et les rentes mêmes s appellent des Constitutions. Un… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • Constitution — (v. latein. constitutio, onis „Zusammensetzung“, „Anordnung“) steht für: die Verfassung der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika Constitution (Studentenverbindung), die Verfassung einer Studentenverbindung USS Constitution, eine hölzerne Fregatte der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • constitution — [kän΄stə to͞o′shən, kän΄stətyo͞o′shən] n. [ME constitucioun < OFr constitution < L constitutio: see CONSTITUTE] 1. the act of setting up or making up; establishment, appointment, or formation 2. the way in which a thing is made up;… …   English World dictionary

  • constitution — mid 14c., law, regulation, edict, from O.Fr. constitucion (12c.) constitution, establishment, and directly from L. constitutionem (nom. constitutio) act of settling, settled condition, anything arranged or settled upon, regulation, order,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • constitution — [n1] physical make up and health architecture, build, character, composition, construction, content, contents, design, disposition, essence, form, formation, frame, habit, habitus, nature, physique, structure, temper, temperament, type, vitality; …   New thesaurus

  • Constitution — (v. lat. Constitutio), 1) Inbegriff alles dessen, wodurch Etwas ein bestimmtes, festes Ganzes, einen Organismus bildet u. worin seine Wesenheit beruht; 2) (Staatsw.), die gesetzlich geordnete Verfassung eines Staates, insbesondere a) eine solche …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • constitution — *physique, build, habit Analogous words: temperament, temper, personality (see DISPOSITION): organism, *system: *structure, framework, anatomy …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

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