Definition of constitutive in US English:



  • 1Having the power to establish or give organized existence to something.

    ‘the state began to exercise a new and constitutive function’
    • ‘Such cases illustrate law's constitutive power.’
    • ‘The first we may call the constitutive function of value judgments.’
    • ‘Is use of constitutive force a necessary element of social change?’
    • ‘Autohistory, as a selective and subjective process, recognizes the constitutive function of memory work in the construction of historical narratives.’
    • ‘Alexis de Tocqueville wrote, in the 1830s, that the great constitutive power of the American republic was its town councils and rural communities, in which small assemblies of citizens took counsel for their immediate good.’
    • ‘The metaphor of ‘governing’ underlines the commanding force of the common world and its constitutive power.’
    • ‘Its constitutive power can never be thought of in historical terms because it presupposes moving out of the structures that define an historical condition.’
    • ‘Democracy depends on the rule of law, to be sure, both for its constitutive procedures and for the respect that its outcomes command (respect for legislation enacted by a representative assembly, for example).’
    • ‘It exercises regulative rather than constitutive power, determining the destiny of nations from afar but without the burdens associated with imperial tutelage.’
    • ‘He raises the question of ‘what it might mean when knowledge no longer interprets the world but radically expands its constitutive power’, but suggests no answer.’
    • ‘Language has constitutive power and is thereby involved in shaping our perceptions, our thoughts and our social realities.’
    • ‘A number of prescriptions are necessary to provide closure to the mass and momentum equations: these are the constitutive equations that establish the link between physical laws and biological behaviors.’
  • 2Forming a part or constituent of something; component.

    ‘poverty is a constitutive element of a particular form of economic growth’
    • ‘They no longer are only constitutive elements of being in the work of art but, more accurately, of being informed with beauty.’
    • ‘For thousands of years the subjugation of the sensuous faculties has been regarded as a constitutive element of human reason and progress.’
    • ‘They would have been able to hunker down, graft, get a mortgage for a two-bedroom terraced house, all the constitutive elements of what used to pass for the Asian good life.’
    • ‘The third constitutive element is the problem solving process by which these groups deliberate and act.’
    • ‘These two constitutive elements of custom - state practice and opinio juris - are considered further below.’
    • ‘We begin to narrativize our lives through our accoutrements, through our objects, as if they are the constitutive elements of subjecthood.’
    • ‘Accounting history research, accordingly, has become a constitutive element for the overall accounting research agenda.’
    • ‘This is what they primarily and fundamentally are, though we have often taken the teaching of individual traditions (for example, states, religion) to be the constitutive element of identity.’
    • ‘This explains why the initial idea about the constitutive elements of civil society here was fairly urban-biased and middle class-related.’
    • ‘This economy has, as its constitutive elements, such factors as attention span, pleasure, ratio of novelty to repetition.’
    • ‘It is a testimony to the idea of democracy itself that the battle over its constitutive elements will, in all likelihood, continue.’
    • ‘Thus here, as in 1 Corinthians, the cult narrative of Israel is employed as one of the constitutive elements of communal identity.’
    • ‘More specifically, a general or working knowledge of regional variations also illustrates that the constitutive elements of the regional compositions differ.’
    • ‘Here, I will consider the death penalty solely as a constitutive element of our political arrangements.’
    • ‘In short, schizophrenic identity is an important constitutive element of cultural paranoia.’
    • ‘What are the constitutive elements of this crisis?’
    • ‘They may become part of the internal logic of fighting and develop into a constitutive element of warfare.’
    • ‘A constitutive element of justice is that all voices are heard and that the participants have a voice.’
    • ‘Law has often been ignored as a constitutive element of social organization, but it plays an important part in the definition of social roles and distribution of resources.’
    • ‘The deeply conservative tendencies we now almost reflexively attribute to canon-making were in the case of the British novel clearly reactions to and revisions of an earlier effort in which dissent was broadly a constitutive element.’
    1. 2.1 Forming an essential element of something.
      ‘language is constitutive of thought’
      • ‘Despite disclaimers by authors that their checklists should be viewed as being ‘reflective rather than constitutive of good research,’ there is evidence that checklists are sometimes being used prescriptively.’
      • ‘Such ideas as that of unconditioned totality, and of the perfect creator who exists of necessity, generate illusions when considered in their constitutive role: that is, when considered as descriptions of reality.’
      • ‘And this relegation of rationality to a strictly instrumental role is, as we discover in Book IV, constitutive of injustice as Plato understands it.’
      • ‘In particular, I doubt whether the complex web of attitudes and behaviors constitutive of parental love could survive being able to always get another, just as good replacement child off a shelf from somewhere.’
      • ‘We have argued that sexual politics are constitutive of all social relations and that colonizing processes are formulated and practiced through the disciplining of Third-World women's bodies.’
      • ‘Citizenship in the form of legal status does not guarantee that they will be constitutive of the American body politic.’
      • ‘He saw quite clearly that if Christians were to assume the task of forming the ethos of modern societies, the ‘myths’ once thought constitutive of the Christian faith must be rejected or reinterpreted.’
      • ‘But the interesting aspect of the officials' discourse is that they know clean cheating is constitutive of the sport, so they attack the tip of the iceberg while disregarding the submerged mass.’
      • ‘In one sense, she is represented as a human, Adamic type, while in another, she appears as counterpart to Adam, with Adam's stance toward her archetypal and constitutive of human relationships in general.’
      • ‘Each resident is, side by side with all other residents, constitutive of the town, city, or county; and all residents are, regardless of citizenship, bearers of rights.’
      • ‘But technology is not constitutive of the self.’
      • ‘In fact, this challenge to liberalism would only require that communitarians be able to identify one end or communal attachment so constitutive of one's identity that it cannot be revised and rejected.’
      • ‘The cloned child would have her uniquely individuating consciousness that would be constitutive of her personal identity.’
      • ‘What has been assumed to come from outside as the bodily property of a particular racial or gendered group is something that has always been inside the self and is constitutive of the interior subject.’
      • ‘So what might be a plausible response to the logic of natural selection, where order proceeds from chaos, and where chance seems constitutive of nature rather than the byproduct of human choice?’
      • ‘Yet, as noted by Aristotle, one's habits are in large part constitutive of one's moral character; habits make the man.’
      • ‘The instinct is to preserve the status quo against this irruption, not to see the irruption as constitutive of the status quo.’
      • ‘There is a possible metaphysic that suggests that a thing's representations are not secondary and inferior to it but are constitutive of that thing.’
      • ‘If a search for such a unique truth is constitutive of history, then history is impossible and, in a post-modern world, we need to move to ‘imaginaries’.’
      • ‘Instead of ‘rogue states’ opposing ‘international norms’ defended by Western democracies, we might see them as constitutive of the international norm.’
      essential, fundamental, basic, intrinsic, inherent, innate, structural
      View synonyms
  • 3Biochemistry
    Relating to an enzyme or enzyme system that is continuously produced in an organism, regardless of the needs of cells.

    • ‘As already noted, in some studies it proved impossible to recover levan transformants using an otherwise successful constitutive transformation system indicating that expression of the levan sucrase can be lethal.’
    • ‘The most widely accepted and significant leukemogenic mechanism attributed to the fusion protein involves the constitutive stimulation of tyrosine kinase.’
    • ‘The diverse peptide pools generated through constitutive proteolytic mechanisms on these distinct sets of cellular substrates form an important primary source of ligands for MHC I binding.’
    • ‘Besides this constitutive system, iron reductases have been described in dicotyledons and non-grass monocotyledons that reduce iron prior to uptake.’
    • ‘Fig.2 A illustrates the color heterogeneity encountered in various cells with constitutive expression of concatemer.’