Definition of constitutive in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkänstəˌt(y)o͞odiv/
Pronunciation: /kənˈstiCHədiv/


1Having the power to establish or give organized existence to something: the state began to exercise a new and constitutive function
More example sentences
  • He raises the question of ‘what it might mean when knowledge no longer interprets the world but radically expands its constitutive power’, but suggests no answer.
  • Alexis de Tocqueville wrote, in the 1830s, that the great constitutive power of the American republic was its town councils and rural communities, in which small assemblies of citizens took counsel for their immediate good.
  • The metaphor of ‘governing’ underlines the commanding force of the common world and its constitutive power.
2Forming a part or constituent of something; component: poverty is a constitutive element of a particular form of economic growth
More example sentences
  • We begin to narrativize our lives through our accoutrements, through our objects, as if they are the constitutive elements of subjecthood.
  • This explains why the initial idea about the constitutive elements of civil society here was fairly urban-biased and middle class-related.
  • They would have been able to hunker down, graft, get a mortgage for a two-bedroom terraced house, all the constitutive elements of what used to pass for the Asian good life.
2.1Forming an essential element of something: language is constitutive of thought
More example sentences
  • Each resident is, side by side with all other residents, constitutive of the town, city, or county; and all residents are, regardless of citizenship, bearers of rights.
  • Instead of ‘rogue states’ opposing ‘international norms’ defended by Western democracies, we might see them as constitutive of the international norm.
  • There is a possible metaphysic that suggests that a thing's representations are not secondary and inferior to it but are constitutive of that thing.
3 Biochemistry Relating to an enzyme or enzyme system that is continuously produced in an organism, regardless of the needs of cells.
Example sentences
  • Fig.2 A illustrates the color heterogeneity encountered in various cells with constitutive expression of concatemer.
  • The most widely accepted and significant leukemogenic mechanism attributed to the fusion protein involves the constitutive stimulation of tyrosine kinase.
  • Besides this constitutive system, iron reductases have been described in dicotyledons and non-grass monocotyledons that reduce iron prior to uptake.



Example sentences
  • This logic, cultural relativism, quickly leads to a paradox, in that it is forced to defend the very cultures which would totally reject the tolerance to which it is constitutively committed.
  • Perhaps we are constitutively unable to play well.
  • This is one more dimension of the Real that capitalist realism is constitutively unable to process.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: con·sti·tu·tive

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