1. serving to compose or make up a thing; component: the constituent parts of a motor.
  2. having power to frame or alter a political constitution or fundamental law, as distinguished from lawmaking power: a constituent assembly.


  1. a constituent element, material, etc.; component.
  2. a person who authorizes another to act in his or her behalf, as a voter in a district represented by an elected official.
  3. Grammar. an element considered as part of a construction.

adjective (prenominal)

  1. forming part of a whole; component
  2. having the power to frame a constitution or to constitute a government (esp in the phrases constituent assembly, constituent power)
  3. rare electing or having the power to elect


  1. a component part; ingredient
  2. a resident of a constituency, esp one entitled to vote
  3. mainly law a person who appoints another to act for him, as by power of attorney
  4. linguistics a word, phrase, or clause forming a part of a larger constructionCompare immediate constituent, ultimate constituent

n.1620s, “one who appoints or elects a representative,” from Latin constituentem (nominative constituens), present participle of constituere (see constitute). The notion is “to make up or compose” a body by appointing or electing a representative. As an adjective, “essential, characteristic,” from 1660s; “that appoints or elects a representative to a body,” from 1714.

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