English

Definition of constitute verb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

      

    constitute

     verb
    verb
    BrE BrE//ˈkɒnstɪtjuːt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkɑːnstətuːt//
     
    (formal)Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they constitute
    BrE BrE//ˈkɒnstɪtjuːt//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkɑːnstətuːt//
     
    he / she / it constitutes
    BrE BrE//ˈkɒnstɪtjuːts//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkɑːnstətuːts//
     
    past simple constituted
    BrE BrE//ˈkɒnstɪtjuːtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkɑːnstətuːtɪd//
     
    past participle constituted
    BrE BrE//ˈkɒnstɪtjuːtɪd//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkɑːnstətuːtɪd//
     
    -ing form constituting
    BrE BrE//ˈkɒnstɪtjuːtɪŋ//
     
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈkɑːnstətuːtɪŋ//
     
     
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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 offence? 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 labour force. Synonymsconsist 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 people, things or activities mentioned: Their diet consists largely of vegetables.comprise (rather formal) to 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 (rather informal) to be the parts or people that form something: Women make up 56% of the student numbers.constitute(formal) to be the parts or people that form something: People under the age of 40 constitute the majority of the labour force.be composed of somebody/​something (rather 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 -ing form of a verb: My work at that time just consisted of typing letters. 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 an Act of Parliament.
  4. Word Origin late Middle English: from Latin constitut- ‘established, appointed’, from the verb constituere, from con- ‘together’ + statuere ‘set up’.Extra examples The census constitutes the principal source of official statistics. The committee ruled that the US ban constituted an infringement of free trade. The conference in itself constitutes a solid achievement. This action constitutes a violation of international law. This constitutes a threat/​danger/​crime/​breach/​nuisance/​weakness/​nuisance/​refusal. People under the age of 40 constitute the majority of the labour force.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: constitute