Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The act or process of composing, setting up, or establishing.
  • n. The composition or structure of something; makeup.
  • n. The physical makeup of a person: Having a strong constitution, she had no trouble climbing the mountain.
  • n. The system of fundamental laws and principles that prescribes the nature, functions, and limits of a government or another institution.
  • n. The document in which such a system is recorded.
  • n. The fundamental law of the United States, framed in 1787, ratified in 1789, and variously amended since then.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The act, or process of setting something up, or establishing something; the composition or structure of such a thing; its makeup.
  • n. The formal or informal system of primary principles and laws that regulates a government or other institutions.
  • n. A legal document describing such a formal system.
  • n. The general health of a person.
  • n. A person's physique or temperament

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act or process of constituting; the action of enacting, establishing, or appointing; enactment; establishment; formation.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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..
  • n. The aggregate of mental qualities; temperament.
  • n. 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.
  • n. An authoritative ordinance, regulation or enactment; especially, one made by a Roman emperor, or one affecting ecclesiastical doctrine or discipline.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of constituting, establishing, or appointing; formation.
  • n. The state of being constituted, composed, made up, or established; the assemblage and union of the essential elements and characteristic parts of a system or body, especially of the human organism; the composition, make-up, or natural condition of anything: as, the physical constitution of the sun; the constitution of a sanitary system; a weak or irritable constitution.
  • n. A system of fundamental principles, maxims, laws, or rules embodied in written documents or established by prescriptive usage, for the government of a nation, state, society, corporation, or association: as, the Constitution of the United States; the British Constitution; the Constitution of the State of New York; the constitution of a social club, etc.
  • n. A particular law, ordinance, or regulation, made by the authority of any superior, civil or ecclesiastical; specifically, in Roman law, what an emperor enacted, either by decree, edict, or letter, and without the interposition of any constitutional assembly: as, the constitutions of Justinian.
  • n. Any system of fundamental principles of action: as, the New Testament is the moral constitution of modern society.
  • n. That branch of the law which defines and interprets the scope and meaning of a constitution.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a United States 44-gun frigate that was one of the first three naval ships built by the United States; it won brilliant victories over British frigates during the War of 1812 and is without doubt the most famous ship in the history of the United States Navy; it has been rebuilt and is anchored in the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston
  • n. the constitution written at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 and subsequently ratified by the original thirteen states
  • n. the act of forming or establishing something
  • n. law determining the fundamental political principles of a government
  • n. the way in which someone or something is composed

Etymologies

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  • Why, to be sure, a tale of scandal is as fatal to the credit of a prudent lady of her stamp as a fever is generally to those of the strongest constitutions.
    Sheridan, School for Scandal

    January 6, 2008