Constitution

Definition of Constitution

Con`sti`tu´tion   Pronunciation: kǒn`st
n.1.The act or process of constituting; the action of enacting, establishing, or appointing; enactment; establishment; formation.
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.
The physical constitution of the sun.
- Sir J. Herschel.
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.
Our constitutions have never been enfeebled by the vices or luxuries of the old world.
- Story.
4.The aggregate of mental qualities; temperament.
He defended himself with . . . less passion than was expected from his constitution.
- Clarendon.
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.
Our constitution had begun to exist in times when statesmen were not much accustomed to frame exact definitions.
- Macaulay.
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.
The positive constitutions of our own churches.
- Hooker.
A constitution of Valentinian addressed to Olybrius, then prefect of Rome, for the regulation of the conduct of advocates.
- George Long.
Apostolic constitutions
See under Apostolic.

Related Words

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