American English

Definition of constitute verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary

      

    constitute

     verb
    verb
    NAmE//ˈkɑnstəˌtut//
     
    (formal)Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they constitute
     
    he / she / it constitutes
     
    past simple constituted
     
    -ing form constituting
     
     
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  1. 1linking verb + noun (not used in the progressive tenses) to be considered to be something Does such an activity constitute a criminal offense? The increase in racial tension constitutes a threat to our society. His action was interpreted as constituting a threat to the community.
  2. 2linking verb + noun (not used in the progressive tenses) to be the parts that together form something synonym make up Female workers constitute the majority of the labor force. note at comprise Thesaurusconsist of somebody/somethingcomprise make up something constitute be composed of somebody/somethingThese words all mean to be formed from the things or people mentioned, or to be the parts that form something.consist of somebody/something to be formed from the things, people, or activities mentioned:Their diet consists largely of vegetables.comprise (somewhat formal) to contain or be formed from the things or people mentioned:The collection comprises 327 paintings. Comprise can also be used to refer to the parts or members of something:Older people comprise a large proportion of those living in poverty.However, this is less frequent.make up something (somewhat informal) to be the parts or people that form something:Women make up 56% of the student body.constitute to be the parts or people that form something:People under the age of 40 constitute the majority of the work force.be composed of somebody/something (somewhat formal) to be formed from the things or people mentioned:Around 15% of our diet is composed of protein.which word?Consist of somebody/something is the most general of these words and the only one that can be used for activities with the gerund:The experiment consisted of training and testing subjects.The other main difference is between those verbs that take the whole as the subject and the parts as the object (The group consists of/comprises/is made up of/is composed of ten people.) and those that take the parts as the subject and the whole as the object (Ten people make up/constitute/comprise the group.) It is not correct to use “comprises of” or “is composed by/from.”
  3. 3[transitive, usually passive] constitute something to form a group legally or officially synonym establish, set up The committee was constituted in 1974 by the Senate.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: constitute