constitution
con·sti·tu·tion n [Latin constitutio system, fundamental principles (of an institution), from constituere to set up, establish]
1: the basic principles and laws of a nation, state, or social group that determine the powers and duties of the government and guarantee certain rights to the people in it
2: a written instrument containing the fundamental rules of a political or social organization; esp cap: the U.S. Constitution see also the judicial system and the constitution in the back matter compare charter, declaration
◇ A constitution was originally simply a law, ordinance, or decree usu. made by a king, emperor, or other superior authority. A constitution now usu. contains the fundamental law and principles with which all other laws must conform. Unlike the U.S. Constitution, the British Constitution is not set down in a comprehensive document, but is found in a variety of statutes (as the Magna Carta) and in common law. Canada inherited many of the rules and practices that are considered part of the British Constitution, but the Constitution of Canada is also set down in comprehensive documents, such as the Constitution Act, 1982 and the Constitution Act, 1867 (formerly called the British North America Act, 1867).

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

constitution
I noun act, body of law, body of rules of government, canon, charter, civil law, civitatis, code of laws, codification, codified law, collection of laws, compact to govern, compilation of law, dictate, edict, enactment, fundamental law, law, legal code, maxim, organic law, pandect, paramount law, precept, prescription, principles of government, regulation, rubric, statute, supreme law, written law associated concepts: action arising under Constitution or laws, Amendment to the Constitution, Constitutional Amendment, Constitutional Convention, Constitutional court, Constitutional officer, Constitutional question, Constitutional right II index building (business of assembling), character (personal quality), characteristic, charter (declaration of rights), code, color (complexion), composition (makeup), configuration (form), construction, content (structure), disposition (inclination), frame (mood), organization (structure), polity, structure (composition), temperament

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006


constitution
n.
A collection of fundamental principles of law according to which a nation or organization is to be governed.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.


constitution
The fundamental, underlying document which establishes the government of a nation or state.The United States Constitution, originally adopted in convention on September 17, 1787, ratified by the states in 1788, and thereafter amended 27 times, is the prime example of such a document; however, states also have constitutions.
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.


constitution
n.
1 The fundamental and organic laws and principles of a country or state that create a system of government and provides a basis against which the validity of all other laws is determined.
2 The fundamental rules governing an association.
Constitution. The Constitution of the United States, written in 1787 and put into effect in 1789.
@ unwritten constitution
The body of fundamental and organic laws and principles contained in a series of statutes, court decisions, governmental proclamations, and tradition that has been accepted as such by the government and people (often over generations or centuries). For example, the United Kingdom has an unwritten constitution that includes the Magna Carta (written in 1215), the Bill of Rights of 1689, and other documents and tradition.
@ written constitution
A single written document that embodies all the fundamental and organic laws and principals of a country or state. For example, the United States has a written constitution.
@

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.


constitution
The fundamental law, written or unwritten, that establishes the character of a government by defining the basic principles to which a society must conform; by describing the organization of the government and regulation, distribution, and limitations on the functions of different government departments; and by prescribing the extent and manner of the exercise of its sovereign powers.
A legislative charter by which a government or group derives its authority to act.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.


constitution
I
The fundamental law, written or unwritten, that establishes the character of a government by defining the basic principles to which a society must conform; by describing the organization of the government and regulation, distribution, and limitations on the functions of different government departments; and by prescribing the extent and manner of the exercise of its sovereign powers.
 
A legislative charter by which a government or group derives its authority to act.
II The fundamental law of a nation or state which establishes the character and basic principles of the government.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

constitution
n.
   the fundamental, underlying document which establishes the government of a nation or state. The U.S. Constitution, originally adopted in convention on September 17, 1787, ratified by the states in 1788, and thereafter amended 27 times, is the prime example of such a document. It is the basis for all decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court (and federal and state courts) on constitutionality. The case of Marbury v. Madison (1803) firmly established the power of the Supreme Court to strike down federal statutes it found unconstitutional, making the Supreme Court the final arbiter of constitutional interpretation. The "equal rights" provision of the 14th Amendment established that the rights in the first ten amendments ("Bill of Rights") applied to state governments. Unfortunately, state constitutions have gathered tremendous amounts of baggage of detail by amendment over the years, and it is more difficult to "fine tune" state constitutions by further amendment than it is to enact statutes (pass new laws). However, state courts are bound by their state's constitution on fundamental issues. The so-called English constitution is an unwritten body of legal customs and rights developed by practice and court decisions from the 11th to the 18th Century.

Law dictionary. . 2013.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • constitution — [ kɔ̃stitysjɔ̃ ] n. f. • constitucion « ordonnance, règlement » v. 1170; lat. constitutio « institution » I ♦ 1 ♦ Dr. Action d établir légalement. ⇒ établissement, institution. Constitution de rente, de pension. Constitution de partie civile :… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • constitution — con‧sti‧tu‧tion [ˌkɒnstˈtjuːʆn ǁ ˌkɑːnstˈtuː ] noun [countable] 1. LAW the system of basic laws and principles that a democratic country is governed by, which cannot easily be changed by the political party in power: • The First Amendment of… …   Financial and business terms

  • constitution — CONSTITUTION. subs. f. Composition. La forme et la matière entrent dans la constitution du corps naturel. f♛/b] Il se dit aussi De l établissement, de la creation d une rente, d une pension; et les rentes mêmes s appellent des Constitutions. Un… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française 1798

  • Constitution — Con sti*tu tion (k[o^]n st[ict]*t[=u] sh[u^]n), n. [F. constitution, L. constitutio.] 1. The act or process of constituting; the action of enacting, establishing, or appointing; enactment; establishment; formation. [1913 Webster] 2. The state of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Constitution — (v. latein. constitutio, onis „Zusammensetzung“, „Anordnung“) steht für: die Verfassung der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika Constitution (Studentenverbindung), die Verfassung einer Studentenverbindung USS Constitution, eine hölzerne Fregatte der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • constitution — [kän΄stə to͞o′shən, kän΄stətyo͞o′shən] n. [ME constitucioun < OFr constitution < L constitutio: see CONSTITUTE] 1. the act of setting up or making up; establishment, appointment, or formation 2. the way in which a thing is made up;… …   English World dictionary

  • constitution — mid 14c., law, regulation, edict, from O.Fr. constitucion (12c.) constitution, establishment, and directly from L. constitutionem (nom. constitutio) act of settling, settled condition, anything arranged or settled upon, regulation, order,… …   Etymology dictionary

  • constitution — [n1] physical make up and health architecture, build, character, composition, construction, content, contents, design, disposition, essence, form, formation, frame, habit, habitus, nature, physique, structure, temper, temperament, type, vitality; …   New thesaurus

  • Constitution — (v. lat. Constitutio), 1) Inbegriff alles dessen, wodurch Etwas ein bestimmtes, festes Ganzes, einen Organismus bildet u. worin seine Wesenheit beruht; 2) (Staatsw.), die gesetzlich geordnete Verfassung eines Staates, insbesondere a) eine solche …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • constitution — *physique, build, habit Analogous words: temperament, temper, personality (see DISPOSITION): organism, *system: *structure, framework, anatomy …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

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