con·sti·tu·tion (kŏn′stĭ-tshən, -ty-)
1. The act or process of composing, setting up, or establishing.
a. The composition or structure of something; makeup.
b. The physical makeup of a person: Having a strong constitution, she had no trouble climbing the mountain.
a. The system of fundamental laws and principles that prescribes the nature, functions, and limits of a government or another institution.
b. The document in which such a system is recorded.
c. Constitution The supreme law of the United States, consisting of the document ratified by the original thirteen states (1787-1790) and subsequent amendments.
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.