Definition of constituent in English:

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Pronunciation: /kənˈstiCHo͞oənt/


1Being a part of a whole: the constituent minerals of the rock
More example sentences
  • If the whole really is greater than the sum of the constituent parts, maybe these lesser parts would be more on my level.
  • The condition applies to the whole of the car parking accommodation and to its constituent parts.
  • In other words, the whole can be understood by separating and defining its constituent parts, as a chemist might seek to explain life by its molecular structure.
component, integral;
elemental, basic, essential, inherent
2Being a voting member of a community or organization and having the power to appoint or elect: the constituent body has a right of veto
More example sentences
  • The presidency of the association is a one-year position elected by the constituent members.
  • Under existing election rules, a constituent district elects several lawmakers, allowing some to enter office on off-beat campaign platforms.
  • It is the collective product of the community, to which all its constituent members have jointly contributed.
2.1Able to make or change a political constitution: a constituent assembly
More example sentences
  • The agreement also marks a reversal for the political parties, which previously rejected the idea of a constituent assembly.
  • One of the new government's first steps was to turn the lower house of parliament into a constituent assembly in order to adopt a new constitution strongly orientated in favour of Buddhism, and the Sinhala language.
  • By 25 April 1949, the West German constituent assembly had drafted a new Basic Law, thereby defeating Soviet aims.


1A member of a constituency.
Example sentences
  • They said the terms in office of legislators depended solely on the acceptance of their constituents who elected their representatives every five years.
  • MPs begin to believe that they were elected to represent their constituents within the party caucus, rather than in the House of Commons itself.
  • We would be very surprised if such a general practice were not welcome to Members of Parliament whose constituents have died in such circumstances.
voter, elector, member of a constituency
2A component part of something: the essential constituents of the human diet
More example sentences
  • Although some essential oils have only a few main constituents, the minor components generally determine the characteristic aroma.
  • Herbs, of course, have huge numbers of components, or constituents.
  • Finally, we could move to a culture where public opinion is seen as an essential constituent of progress - rather than as an impediment.
component, ingredient, element;
part, piece, bit, unit;
section, portion
2.1 Linguistics The common part of two or several more complex forms, e.g., gentle in gentleman, gentlemanly, ungentlemanly.
Example sentences
  • In addition to verbs, a small number of other word-level constituents are immediately dominated by IP.
  • It is interesting to note that proforms generally replace phrase-level constituents, not word-level constituents.
  • Thus, the lack of a word-level constituent that matches the phrase in category indicates either (1) the head has been elided; or (2) the head has a more specific label than its general category label.
2.2 Linguistics A word or construction that is part of a larger construction.
Example sentences
  • The central constituents are the subject (though generally omitted in imperative sentences) and the verb, as in Nobody moved.
  • As to the typology of phrasal constituents, there is a certain amount of variability among different annotation practices.
  • Therefore, the trace is necessary for correct comprehension of sentences with moved phrasal constituents.


Late 15th century (in the legal sense of the noun): from Latin constituent- (partly via French constituant) 'establishing, appointing', from the verb constituere (see constitute).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: con·stit·u·ent

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