Definition of constitute in English:



  • 1Be (a part) of a whole.

    ‘lone parents constitute a great proportion of the poor’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘With pedestrians constituting the highest number of victims of road accidents, it is necessary for the traffic police to man pedestrian crossings and put up safety signboards wherever necessary.’
    • ‘They are present in all eukaryotic genomes, where they constitute the most abundant class of mobile DNA.’
    • ‘Although important, medications for heart failure constitute only half of the treatment program.’
    • ‘Almost half those murdered each year in the city are black youths, even though they constitute a very small fraction of the whole society.’
    • ‘Since the Barony of Erris constitutes such a large part of Mayo, it is inevitable that its inhabitants were, and still are, deeply affected by emigration.’
    • ‘This combined migratory population constituted more than 68 percent of Israel's population at its inception in 1948.’
    • ‘Depleted uranium constitutes one of largest radioactive and toxic-waste by-products of the nuclear age.’
    • ‘Europe was increasingly concentrating power into the hands of elite groups, who constituted a very small proportion of the total population.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘African Americans represent the third racial-ethnic group present in parishes, constituting 2.43 percent of average parish membership.’
    • ‘The present catch of about 1300 a year constitutes less than 0.15 percent of that population and is sustainable by any standards.’
    • ‘Such fees at present constitute about half the budget of the FDA's drug review center.’
    • ‘Those metasediments that are present probably constitute no more than 30% of the belt.’
    • ‘Since the partition of the country, Muslims constitute only 11 percent of the population.’
    • ‘At present, credits constitute 40 per cent of the banks' assets to give them the top slot in the banks' assets.’
    • ‘The result achieved by the scientists constitutes the tiniest first fraction of the effort required to grow a human baby, and is very far from being one of the many harder parts of the task.’
    • ‘The Budget only constitutes approximately 1.25 per cent of GDP of the EU as a whole.’
    • ‘The two subfamilies together constitute approximately 1.1 % of the entire genome.’
    • ‘The in-form striker polled 1,024 votes from non-League fans constituting some 15 per cent of the 6,599 total.’
    amount to, add up to, account for, form, make up, compose, comprise, represent
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Combine to form (a whole)
      ‘there were enough members present to constitute a quorum’
      • ‘For society is not simply constituted by the mass of the individuals who compose it, by the territory they occupy, by the things they make use of, by the movements they carry out, but primarily by the idea of itself which it makes itself.’
      • ‘Like the Taj, the garden elements follow the Arabesque concept, standing on their own and constituting the whole.’
      • ‘Like ‘body’, dance's meanings and functions have been constituted differently at distinct moments in history.’
      • ‘At the same time, she says, you cannot erase the fact that immigrants do bring other heritages and cultures into what constitutes America.’
      • ‘The whole gamut of man's activities today constitutes an indivisible whole.’
      • ‘To be continuous is to constitute an unbroken or uninterrupted whole, like the ocean or the sky.’
      • ‘There is, as a consequence, some repetition and little sense that the eleven articles constitute a coherent whole.’
      • ‘Most of us have a collection of old photographs that constitutes the ‘family album.’’
      • ‘‘The series of prints constitutes a well-defined and unified aesthetic whole,’ he says.’
      • ‘Since members of the opposite sex constituted the most evolutionarily significant resources in the environment, competition for reproduction should be extremely effective.’
      • ‘The rest of the country constituted enough of a quorum for these powerful people - who needs those pesky Californian and Floridian votes anyway?’
      • ‘In aggregate, they constitute a real and present danger to global prosperity.’
      • ‘This left 1,948 aligned positions, which constituted the ‘whole’ data set.’
      • ‘If this is the case, then limited liability does not constitute the whole of the problem and removing it would be only a partial solution.’
      • ‘This explains why the region was under Dutch colonialism in the shortest period of time among the rest of what constitutes Indonesia.’
      • ‘The Amy genes of Drosophila constitute a relatively small multigene family with two to seven members in different species.’
      • ‘Unlike the European Central Bank, its members do not necessarily constitute a cohesive professional college.’
      • ‘Together they constituted a quite damning indictment of the whole program.’
      • ‘Taken as a whole, these essays constitute a reasonably valuable addition to the scholarship on Japanese-Turkish relations.’
      • ‘The data I have presented here constitute only a very modest beginning toward meeting the challenge.’
    2. 1.2Be or be equivalent to (something)
      ‘his failure to act constituted a breach of duty’
      • ‘Every act constituting torture under the Convention constitutes a criminal offense under the law of the United States.’
      • ‘Its act has thus constituted a threat to China's national security.’
      • ‘The Australian Criminal Code also recognises various acts as constituting crimes against humanity.’
      • ‘Any breach will constitute grounds for expulsion from the event.’
      • ‘It constitutes an immensely proud moment, a triumph for Scotland, and represents the true spirit of the Make Poverty History campaign.’
      • ‘The act of clarifying alerts town residents to the dangers of violating the act and therefore itself constitutes a form of warning.’
      • ‘This act constitutes industries' essential contribution to society.’
      • ‘It found that such a move would breach two clauses in the Competition Act 1991 and would constitute market sharing.’
      • ‘The Geneva Conventions make reference to those acts which constitute war crimes under the Conventions.’
      • ‘Failure to act may constitute a waiver of the breach and, in certain circumstances, a variation of the agreement.’
      • ‘The majority of these were ruled out of consideration because the complaint did not constitute an offence or breach of discipline.’
      • ‘The same act carried out by two persons acting together may constitute conspiracy to defraud.’
      • ‘He said such an act constitutes a fraud which could be addressed by the courts of law, adding that such incidents should not be allowed by the farming community.’
      • ‘It followed that the government of Venice could not abide papal intrusion into its affairs, an act that constituted an assault on its sovereignty.’
      • ‘The cynicism of this act constitutes a serious breach of faith.’
      • ‘But, we tell ourselves, getting titles like this into print constitutes an important cultural contribution.’
      • ‘That image constitutes my first real memory of a game.’
      • ‘Failure to comply constitutes an act of discrimination.’
      • ‘If these allegations are confirmed, such breaches of duty would constitute grave violations of medical ethics.’
      • ‘If my familiarity with the paper constitutes a ‘conflict of interest,’ then I'm guilty.’
      be equivalent to, be the equivalent of, be, embody, be tantamount to, be regarded as, act as, serve as
      View synonyms
  • 2Give legal or constitutional form to (an institution); establish by law.

    ‘the superior courts were constituted by the Judicature Acts 1873–5’
    • ‘The original amendment to public finance law constitutes that the reserve cannot be used for any purpose other than one specifically recommended by the Finance and Economics Committee and approved by the States.’
    • ‘This is in spite of the fact that the commission is a legally constituted Government body with specific functions to carry out on behalf of the Government.’
    • ‘No one doubts that legal consequences may flow from political facts, and that sovereignty is a political fact for which no purely legal authority can be constituted…’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The Tribunal is specially constituted to make such decisions and they did not give rise to a question of law.’
    • ‘The Court was constituted - were there any others in dissent on this point?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The report suggested that an Empowered Committee be constituted to examine and take speedy action on the recommendations.’
    • ‘The Sanhedrin and other duly constituted courts cannot be established until this ordination is reinstituted.’
    • ‘For example, the Bank of England is constituted a body corporate by its 1694 charter.’
    • ‘It was paid pursuant to a compromise of legal proceedings and it is a trite law that that constitutes a completely new agreement.’
    • ‘There is insufficient evidence before us that one ingredient of the Section 5 offence was established to constitute a prima facie case.’
    inaugurate, initiate, establish, found, create, set up, put in place, start, begin, originate, form, organize, develop, shape
    View synonyms


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