constitution

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See also: Constitution

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

PIE word
*ḱóm

From Middle English constitucioun, constitucion (edict, law, ordinance, regulation, rule, statute; body of laws or rules, or customs; body of fundamental principles; principle or rule (of science); creation)[1] from Old French constitucion (modern French constitution), a learned borrowing from Latin cōnstitūtiō, cōnstitūtiōnem (character, constitution, disposition, nature; definition; point in dispute; order, regulation; arrangement, system), from cōnstituō (to establish, set up; to confirm; to decide, resolve) (from con- (prefix indicating a being or bringing together of several objects) + statuō (to set up, station; to establish; to determine, fix) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *steh₂- (to stand (up)))) + -tiō (suffix forming nouns relating to actions or the results of actions), -tiōnem (accusative singular of -tiō).

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

constitution (plural constitutions)

  1. The act, or process of setting something up, or establishing something; the composition or structure of such a thing; its makeup.
    Synonyms: configuration, form; see also Thesaurus:composition
    • 1876, John Herschel, Outlines of Astronomy
      the physical constitution of the sun
  2. (government) The formal or informal system of primary principles and laws that regulates a government or other institutions.
  3. (law) A legal document describing such a formal system.
  4. A person's physical makeup or temperament, especially in respect of robustness.
    He has a strong constitution, so he should make a quick recovery from the illness.
  5. (dated) The general health of a person.
    • 1766 May, “The Life of Mr. Barton Booth”, in The Gentleman's and London Magazine: Or Monthly Chronologer, page 281:
      But when once his constitution began to decline, he broke very fast, and being attacked bya complication of diseases, he at length gave way to fate, May 10, 1733.
    • 1792 July 18, “History of Nicholas Pedrosa”, in The Phoenix, volume 1, number 3, page 39:
      Don Manuel de Casafonda the governor, whose countenance bespoke a constitution far gone in a decliner had thrown himself on a sopha in the last state of despair and given way to an effusion of tears:
    • 1827 July, “On the Mal-organization of the Medical Profession, and of the Necessity of a Medical Reform”, in The Oriental Herald and Journal of General Literature, volume 14, number 43, page 79:
      The physician, to gratify the apothecary, himself obliged to order ten times more physic than the patient really wants, by which means he ruins his constitution, and too often his life; otherwise how is it posible an apothecarty's bill in a fever should amount to forty, or fifty, or more pounds?
    • 1838, George Godfrey Cunningham, Lives of Eminent and Illustrious Englishmen:
      In early life his health was infirm, and his education much interrupted in consequence; but by diligent study, as his constitution improved, he made up his lost ground, and became one of the most accomplished classical and general scholars of his time.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

References[edit]

  1. ^ constitūciǒun, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.

Further reading[edit]


French[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old French constitucion, from Latin cōnstitūtiō, cōnstitūtiōnem. Morphologically, from constituer +‎ -tion.

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

constitution f (plural constitutions)

  1. constitution

Further reading[edit]


Norman[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Latin cōnstitūtiō, cōnstitūtiōnem.

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (file)

Noun[edit]

constitution f (plural constitutions)

  1. (Jersey) constitution