constitutional

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

PIE word
*ḱóm

From constitution +‎ -al (suffix meaning ‘of or pertaining to’ forming adjectives).[1] Constitution is derived 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)[2] 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]

Adjective[edit]

constitutional (comparative more constitutional, superlative most constitutional)

  1. Belonging to, or inherent in, the constitution or structure of one's body or mind.
    a constitutional infirmity   constitutional ardour or dullness
  2. For the benefit of one's constitution or health.
    a constitutional walk
  3. Relating to the constitution or composition of something; essential, fundamental.
  4. (law)
    1. Relating to a legal or political constitution (the basic law of a nation or institution; the formal or informal system of primary principles and laws that regulates a government or other institution).
      a constitutional right   constitutional reforms
      Brexit has rocked the foundations of the nation and plunged everyone into a state of heightened constitutional anxiety.
      Some are already speculating that a constitutional crisis is brewing.
      • 1999 April 1, Jol A. Silversmith, “The "Missing Thirteenth Amendment": Constitutional Nonsense and Titles of Nobility”, in Southern California Interdisciplinary Law Journal[1], volume 8, number 2, USC Gould School of Law, page 582:
        On January 18, 1810, Republican Senator Philip Reed introduced a constitutional amendment addressing the acceptance of titles of nobility by American citizens.31
    2. In compliance with or valid under a legal or political constitution.
      Antonyms: anticonstitutional, nonconstitutional, unconstitutional
      The Supreme Court ruled against the applicant and found the statute constitutional.
      • 2021 November 17, Thai PBS, “Thai charter court rules that only heterosexual marriages are constitutional”, in Thai PBS World[2], Bangkok: Thai Public Broadcasting Service, retrieved 2021-11-17:
        Thai charter court rules that only heterosexual marriages are constitutional: Same-sex marriage in Thailand will have to wait, as the Constitutional Court ruled unanimously today (Wednesday) that Section 1448 of the Civil and Commercial Code, defining marriage as being a union between a man and a woman, is constitutional.
    3. (also politics) Of a monarch: having a purely ceremonial role, or possessing powers limited by a constitution rather than plenary or unlimited powers.

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Noun[edit]

constitutional (plural constitutionals)

  1. A walk that is taken regularly for good health and wellbeing.
    • 2018 December 12, Charles Bramesco, “A Spoonful of Nostalgia Helps the Calculated Mary Poppins Returns Go Down”, in The A.V. Club[3], archived from the original on 24 May 2019:
      Moments of potential transcendence, such as an afternoon constitutional through an expressionistic wonderland recalling the Fuji Velvia vividness of What Dreams May Come, ring false in light of this project's mercenary origins.
    • September 8 2022, Stephen Bates, “Queen Elizabeth II obituary”, in The Guardian[4]:
      it was then still just possible to have a relatively normal life at the family’s 25-bedroom mansion at 145 Piccadilly, from where the baby was taken for a two-hour constitutional in her pram to Hyde Park and back every day by her governess.
  2. (euphemistic) An act of defecation.
    morning constitutional
    • 2006, Tom A. Johnson, To the Limit: An Air Cav Huey Pilot in Vietnam, Potomac Books, Inc., →ISBN:
      For Mac McCrary and me, the Tet Offensive of 1968 begins as we sit in the outhouse. Since things are in such disorder, sergeants have been invited to use the officers' facility. We both arrive at the latrine at the same time to take a constitutional.
    • 2012, Nathaniel Tower, Bartleby Snopes Issue 7, Lulu.com, →ISBN, page 56:
      The painter looked up at the ceiling. He listened to the woman's television and wondered what to do. He got out of bed. The painter started the coffee pot. He went into the bathroom to take his morning constitutional. The poor painter could still hear the woman's television. Christ, how he hated her.
    • 2020 January 3, Bill Reed, Wi, Reed Independent, →ISBN:
      Or there was the quickie hire of the White dressed up to look like you the hirer yourself in a hoodie (fashion out of the film Rocky, guaranteed in writing) thundering along'n'away for a quickie ten-kays early-morning constitutional to clear out the tubes, fitness being part of your innate lifestyle out of the clean slate of your mind, and not the way your waistline was trying to meet the core of your gravity face-to-face.

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