Definition of constitute in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈkɒnstɪtjuːt/


[with object]
1Be (a part) of a whole: lone parents constitute a great proportion of the poor
More example sentences
  • Recall is more accurate when fish consumption constitutes a larger proportion of the diet and when recall is requested over a short and definite period.
  • To be sure, change was gradual, and some exhibited strong anger, but these women appear to have been more retrained and they constituted a smaller proportion of the suspects.
  • Europe was increasingly concentrating power into the hands of elite groups, who constituted a very small proportion of the total population.
1.1Combine to form (a whole): there were enough members present to constitute a quorum
More example sentences
  • Like the Taj, the garden elements follow the Arabesque concept, standing on their own and constituting the whole.
  • The whole gamut of man's activities today constitutes an indivisible whole.
  • There is, as a consequence, some repetition and little sense that the eleven articles constitute a coherent whole.
1.2Be or be equivalent to (something): his failure to act constituted a breach of duty
More example sentences
  • The cynicism of this act constitutes a serious breach of faith.
  • This act constitutes industries' essential contribution to society.
  • The act of clarifying alerts town residents to the dangers of violating the act and therefore itself constitutes a form of warning.
be equivalent to, be the equivalent of, be, embody, be tantamount to, be regarded as, act as, serve as
2Give legal or constitutional form to (an institution); establish by law: the superior courts were constituted by the Judicature Acts 1873-5
More example sentences
  • The Tribunal is specially constituted to make such decisions and they did not give rise to a question of law.
  • The statute constituting the Court of Appeal treats interlocutory appeals as being in a lower category than final appeals; the appeal may be heard by two Lords Justices instead of by three.
  • You have been sitting here in Court, and you have seen the way the Court is constituted, and that is done under the Judiciary Act.
inaugurate, initiate, establish, found, create, set up, put in place, start, begin, originate, form, organize, develop, shape;
authorize, commission, charter, induct, invest, appoint, name, nominate, install, empower, ordain, decree


Late Middle English: from Latin constitut- 'established, appointed', from the verb constituere, from con- 'together' + statuere 'set up'.

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Line breaks: con|sti¦tute

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