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American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's Dictionary 1828

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Constitution


CONSTITUTION, noun

1. The act of constituting, enacting, establishing, or appointing.

2. The state of being; that form of being or peculiar structure and connection of parts which makes or characterizes a system or body. Hence the particular frame or temperament of the human body is called its constitution We speak of a robust or feeble constitution; a cold, phlegmatic, sanguine or irritable constitution We speak of the constitution of the air, or other substance; the constitution of the solar system; the constitution of things.

3. The frame or temper of mind, affections or passions.

4. The established form of government in a state, kingdom or country; a system of fundamental rules, principles and ordinances for the government of a state or nation. In free states, the constitution is paramount to the statutes or laws enacted by the legislature, limiting and controlling its power; and in the United States, the legislature is created, and its powers designated, by the constitution

5. A particular law, ordinance, or regulation, made by the authority of any superior, civil or ecclesiastical; as the constitutions of Justinian and his successors.

6. A system of fundamental principles for the government of rational and social beings.

The New Testament is the moral constitution of modern society.