Definition of constituent in English:



  • 1Being a part of a whole.

    ‘the constituent minerals of the rock’
    • ‘This is the first degree of its kind and is also unique in that it has been developed and produced in a joint collaboration by the four constituent universities of the National University of Ireland.’
    • ‘For all of the attempts at describing their sound, you can try to break down the tracks into their constituent ingredients but will never, ever, adequately describe what the songs actually sound like.’
    • ‘In 2001-02, the slowdown in manufacturing became wide spread, affecting a broad spectrum of constituent industries.’
    • ‘At the particle level binding energy is measured as the difference of the mass of the whole nucleus and the sum of the constituent parts.’
    • ‘‘Obviously funding will be split between central government and the constituent authorities but we urgently need more information,’ he said.’
    • ‘The condition applies to the whole of the car parking accommodation and to its constituent parts.’
    • ‘I would aim for a detonation somewhere between that required to merely startle and that which would be necessary to reduce everything within a one metre radius into its constituent molecules.’
    • ‘The real difference is in the ability to see a picture as a whole or only as a collection of its constituent parts.’
    • ‘After donation, all the blood is divided into its constituent parts by a 3,000-revolution per minute centrifuge according to differential density.’
    • ‘If the whole really is greater than the sum of the constituent parts, maybe these lesser parts would be more on my level.’
    • ‘If you grant that ‘tangibility’ is a constituent property of physicality, or identical to it, the child seems to be making the same argument’
    • ‘What about the argument that the health and viability of the League as a whole is more important ultimately than any one of its constituent parts, i.e. the clubs?’
    • ‘Here the relationship between the life-history of the whole plant and that of its constituent parts is discussed.’
    • ‘The practices by which a society's constituent roles are defined can always be renegotiated by their carriers, just as the memes by which a culture is defined can be reinterpreted by theirs.’
    • ‘Her world resembles that of a child, where the constituent objects are always surprising a not quite ‘developed’ mind.’
    • ‘It provides the glue to bind all of the application's constituent Web services together into a single coordinated application whole.’
    • ‘There are too many constituent parts of this team that are malfunctioning.’
    • ‘In the world we are imagining, then, there is a fourfold duty on the global community and its constituent associations to act to prevent violations of the fundamental interests and four basic rights of human beings.’
    • ‘Then, a couple of weeks or so after the capitulation, when my protests no longer made much sense, they were listened to, and I was sent as Intelligence Officer to one of the brigade's constituent battalions.’
    • ‘In other words, the whole can be understood by separating and defining its constituent parts, as a chemist might seek to explain life by its molecular structure.’
    component, integral
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  • 2Being a voting member of a community or organization and having the power to appoint or elect.

    ‘the constituent body has a right of veto’
    • ‘The Union was based on the sovereignty of its seven constituent provinces, with the maximum devolution of power from the centre.’
    • ‘Of course, the constituent bodies (not the administration) should choose who will have contact with board members.’
    • ‘So one can understand where the legislation has the effect of changing the constituent bodies there is a different rule.’
    • ‘In all institutions the constituent members are, at least notionally, united to achieve a common goal.’
    • ‘He describes discourse as a technique used by the power elite to exert control over other constituent groups.’
    • ‘The Governing Body, in its wisdom, devolved decision making for the trophy's route to its constituent bodies, the counties.’
    • ‘Directors need to take a step back once in a while and ask themselves: how well are they representing their constituent members?’
    • ‘Liberal democratic values encoded in the country's institutions define an inclusive public space in which all its constituent groups are obliged to participate as part of the multicultural contract.’
    • ‘Her role there was dealing with constituent members.’
    • ‘So they flew to D.C. to meet with him, called his office daily to complain about it, and organized a constituent call-in drive.’
    • ‘That option does not seem terribly realistic or to have widespread support among the constituent communities.’
    • ‘It is the collective product of the community, to which all its constituent members have jointly contributed.’
    • ‘The first Inter-Church Meeting between the main constituent members of the Irish Council of Churches and the Roman Catholic Church took place at Ballymascanlon in September 1973.’
    • ‘The presidency of the association is a one-year position elected by the constituent members.’
    • ‘It remains the case that they key constituent audience can't go and see this film.’
    • ‘As long as Labour relied for its finance on its own constituent organisations, notably the unions, corruption was held at bay.’
    • ‘I also predict that the package the Democrats propose will not be based on any discernible economic theory, but rather will be an assortment of goodies for various constituent groups.’
    • ‘Under existing election rules, a constituent district elects several lawmakers, allowing some to enter office on off-beat campaign platforms.’
    • ‘Will constituent pressure make some Senators think twice before voting against it?’
    • ‘Your goal is to collect and evaluate ‘strategic data’ across divergent constituent groups that directly shed light on strategic decision making.’
    1. 2.1 Able to make or change a political constitution.
      ‘a constituent assembly’
      • ‘One of the new government's first steps was to turn the lower house of parliament into a constituent assembly in order to adopt a new constitution strongly orientated in favour of Buddhism, and the Sinhala language.’
      • ‘The constituent assembly aimed to reduce instability by defining a ministerial crisis strictly, with a motion of censure required to overthrow a government.’
      • ‘Exactly two years later, voters will return to the polls to elect an 88-member constituent assembly to decide on a constitution and the future form of government.’
      • ‘The rebels, who are demanding a roundtable conference, an interim government and a constituent assembly, insist that the peace process should involve the king as well as the political parties.’
      • ‘A 1946 plebiscite ended the monarchy, and a constituent assembly was elected to draw up plans for the republic.’
      • ‘When I watch lawmakers do their calling, it is usually in between committee hearings, constituent meetings and votes.’
      • ‘She said such a convention would be preferable to a constituent assembly, where members of the Senate and House of Representatives sit to propose amendments to the Charter.’
      • ‘Eight Republicans came back from recess, their ears burning with constituent anger, and voted with the Dems.’
      • ‘Those voted to the constituent assembly were allowed to meet in the Tauride Palace.’
      • ‘By 25 April 1949, the West German constituent assembly had drafted a new Basic Law, thereby defeating Soviet aims.’
      • ‘The protesting masses have been demanding a constituent assembly, or constitutional convention to reorganize their country, and nationalization of their country's natural resources.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the House of Representatives continues to be gridlocked with the Senate on the Charter change issue as congressmen continue to push for a resolution for a constituent assembly.’
      • ‘They have called on the other political parties to break with the palace and join a popular alliance of parliamentary and revolutionary forces to establish a constituent assembly and a democratic republic.’
      • ‘If parliament is transformed into a constituent assembly, the speaker would become its chairman with wide powers to direct proceedings.’
      • ‘On Tuesday, the new German parliament met in constituent session.’
      • ‘A constituent assembly was popularly elected in April 1980, and general elections were held in November 1981.’
      • ‘A quarter of a million voters elected a constituent assembly dominated by republicans.’
      • ‘The agreement also marks a reversal for the political parties, which previously rejected the idea of a constituent assembly.’
      • ‘The proposed constitutional shift has met fierce opposition in the Senate and most of the senators believe there would not be enough votes to endorse a constituent assembly that would draft a new constitution.’
      • ‘The working class must fight for a constituent assembly elected openly and democratically by the working masses to settle all the democratic questions.’


  • 1A member of a constituency.

    • ‘Each member has a voice, each member is a constituent.’
    • ‘Legislators appear at state capitols or in Washington, DC, every year as representatives of their constituents.’
    • ‘Second, many of the council members' constituents, especially potential campaign donors, may demand that the city do something about the beggars.’
    • ‘He paid £450 for 2,000 recyclable shopping bags to distribute among his constituents in the Finglas area to raise awareness for the need to recycle.’
    • ‘Are not our MPs in Parliament to represent their constituents of which a large and growing number are pensioners?’
    • ‘I am very happy every 3 years to stand before my constituents as a Labour member of Parliament and somebody who has routinely voted for the human rights of every New Zealander.’
    • ‘Lawmakers do have a legitimate and undeniable need to freely express their views and openly advocate the interests of their constituents in the legislative process.’
    • ‘Senators today are elected largely as representatives of their constituents and carry out the instructions received from their electors.’
    • ‘You are very important to members of Congress, because, as a constituent, you have the power to keep them in office.’
    • ‘In other words, they ask questions or raise matters in debate concerning the problems of their area and constituents.’
    • ‘They said the terms in office of legislators depended solely on the acceptance of their constituents who elected their representatives every five years.’
    • ‘It would give each councilperson an identifiable constituency, and constituents an identifiable representative.’
    • ‘Rather than having to go back to the district and explain an unpopular vote to constituents, members could hope that constituents would learn first hand why a bill was needed.’
    • ‘But what was he doing that was more important than representing his constituents and party in parliament?’
    • ‘I say to the member that he should be in touch with the constituents in his area, because they want better roads.’
    • ‘MPs begin to believe that they were elected to represent their constituents within the party caucus, rather than in the House of Commons itself.’
    • ‘It's a quick and easy way to remind your MP that they are supposed to represent their constituents in parliament, and not their party's whip.’
    • ‘We would be very surprised if such a general practice were not welcome to Members of Parliament whose constituents have died in such circumstances.’
    • ‘So if representatives are mandated, they are irrelevant, and if they are not mandated then they will often not be truly representative of their constituents.’
    • ‘The relationship between the constituents and their elected representatives has deformed into the masses and their dutifully appointed leaders.’
    voter, elector, member of the electorate, member of a constituency
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  • 2A component part of something.

    ‘the essential constituents of the human diet’
    • ‘During the 20th century, the knowledge of separating the constituents of essential oils was used to create synthetic chemicals and drugs.’
    • ‘For example, the binding potential energy between the constituents of the nucleus contributes significantly to the mass of the nucleus.’
    • ‘Finally, we could move to a culture where public opinion is seen as an essential constituent of progress - rather than as an impediment.’
    • ‘In the fourteenth book he defended the emotions as good constituents of human nature by the creator's intention, and attacked the Stoic notion that emotion must be suppressed.’
    • ‘The whole discussion of the apple was in language, and language was an essential constituent in the various forms of knowing discussed.’
    • ‘They are the main constituents of membranes outside cells and tiny metabolic organs inside every cell.’
    • ‘Perhaps contrary to expectations, I'm quite a fan of red meat: it appears to have been a constituent of the human diet for hundreds of thousands of years, and is therefore something we're likely to be well adapted to.’
    • ‘It represents a book being hurled out of a window - a reminder, perhaps, that protest is an essential constituent of social progress.’
    • ‘Herbs, of course, have huge numbers of components, or constituents.’
    • ‘Having said that, some plant food constituents rejected as non-essential or non-vitamins, are now known to have important health functions.’
    • ‘Technically speaking, duty, breach and damage are the three essential constituents of the action.’
    • ‘Fluorescence emission can provide a possible method to separate tissue constituents based on differential spectral features.’
    • ‘In many states, mustard oil is an essential constituent of the diet.’
    • ‘Thus, metasomatism involves changes in mineralogy and structure along with the addition and/or removal of elemental constituents from a rock.’
    • ‘Although some essential oils have only a few main constituents, the minor components generally determine the characteristic aroma.’
    • ‘The distribution and habitat, general features, properties and uses and chemical constituents are also part of the classification criteria.’
    • ‘The constituents of matter are elements infinite in number and always in motion, with an infinite variety of shapes, completely solid in composition.’
    • ‘Each of these levels may consist of a sequential unit of internal constituents that are realized by exposition, complication, and denouement.’
    • ‘Dejection, on the other hand, is an essential constituent of tennis.’
    • ‘Currently, the feeding value of hay is established using regression equations based on chemical constituents.’
    component, component part, ingredient, element
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    1. 2.1Linguistics The common part of two or several more complex forms, e.g., gentle in gentleman, gentlemanly, ungentlemanly.
      • ‘In addition to verbs, a small number of other word-level constituents are immediately dominated by IP.’
      • ‘It is interesting to note that proforms generally replace phrase-level constituents, not word-level constituents.’
      • ‘Thus, the lack of a word-level constituent that matches the phrase in category indicates either (1) the head has been elided; or (2) the head has a more specific label than its general category label.’
    2. 2.2Linguistics A word or construction that is part of a larger construction.
      • ‘Therefore, the trace is necessary for correct comprehension of sentences with moved phrasal constituents.’
      • ‘As to the typology of phrasal constituents, there is a certain amount of variability among different annotation practices.’
      • ‘In all these examples, the intonation rises on the wh-constituent preceding the complementizer and then descends.’
      • ‘The central constituents are the subject (though generally omitted in imperative sentences) and the verb, as in Nobody moved.’


Late 15th century (as a noun denoting a person who appoints another as agent): from Latin constituent- (partly via French constituant) ‘establishing, appointing’, from the verb constituere (see constitute).