con·sti·tute (kŏnstĭ-tt′, -tyt′)
tr.v. con·sti·tut·ed, con·sti·tut·ing, con·sti·tutes
a. To be the elements or parts of; compose: Copper and tin constitute bronze.
b. To amount to; equal: "Rabies is transmitted through a bite; ... patting a rabid animal in itself does not constitute exposure" (Malcolm W. Browne).
a. To set up or establish according to law or provision: a body that is duly constituted under the charter.
b. To found (an institution, for example).
c. To enact (a law or regulation).
3. To appoint to an office, dignity, function, or task; designate.
[Middle English constituten, from Latin cōnstituere, cōnstitūt-, to set up : com-, com- + statuere, to set up; see stā- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
consti·tut′er, consti·tu′tor n.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.