mid-15c., "to enter into the formation of as a necessary part," from Latin constitutus, past participle of constituere "to cause to stand, set up, fix, place, establish, set in order; form something new; resolve," of persons, "to appoint to an office," from assimilated form of com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see com-), + statuere "to set" (from PIE root *sta- "to stand, make or be firm"). Meaning "to appoint or elect to an office or position of power" is from c. 1400. Related: Constituted; constituting.
mid-14c., constitucioun, "law, regulation, edict; body of rules, customs, or laws," from Old French constitucion (12c.) "constitution, establishment," and directly from Latin constitutionem (nominative constitutio) "act of settling, settled condition, anything arranged or settled upon, regulation, order, ordinance," noun of state from past-participle stem of constituere "to cause to stand, set up, fix, place, establish, set in order; form something new; resolve" (see constitute).
Meaning "action of establishing, creation" is from c. 1400; that of "way in which a thing is constituted" is from c. 1600; that of "physical health, strength and vigor of the body" is from 1550s; of the mind, "temperament, character" from 1580s.
Sense of "mode of organization of a state" is from c. 1600; that of "system of fundamental principles by which a community is governed" dates from 1730s; since the 1780s especially of the fundamental principles and rules of a government as embodied in a written document (as in the U.S. and France). In reference to Britain, the word was a collective name for the fundamental principles established by the political development of the English people embodied in long-accepted precedents.
*stā-, Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to stand, set down, make or be firm," with derivatives meaning "place or thing that is standing."
It forms all or part of: Afghanistan; Anastasia; apostasy; apostate; armistice; arrest; assist; astatic; astatine; Baluchistan; bedstead; circumstance; consist; constable; constant; constitute; contrast; cost; desist; destination; destine; destitute; diastase; distance; distant; ecstasy; epistasis; epistemology; establish; estaminet; estate; etagere; existence; extant; Hindustan; histidine; histo-; histogram; histology; histone; hypostasis; insist; instant; instauration; institute; interstice; isostasy; isostatic; Kazakhstan; metastasis; obstacle; obstetric; obstinate; oust; Pakistan; peristyle; persist; post (n.1) "timber set upright;" press (v.2) "force into service;" presto; prostate; prostitute; resist; rest (v.2) "to be left, remain;" restitution; restive; restore; shtetl; solstice; stable (adj.) "secure against falling;" stable (n.) "building for domestic animals;" stage; stalag; stalwart; stamen; -stan; stance; stanchion; stand; standard; stanza; stapes; starboard; stare decisis; stasis; -stat; stat; state (n.1) "circumstances, conditions;" stater; static; station; statistics; stator; statue; stature; status; statute; staunch; (adj.) "strong, substantial;" stay (v.1) "come to a halt, remain in place;" stay (n.2) "strong rope which supports a ship's mast;" stead; steed; steer (n.) "male beef cattle;" steer (v.) "guide the course of a vehicle;" stem (n.) "trunk of a plant;" stern (n.) "hind part of a ship;" stet; stoa; stoic; stool; store; stound; stow; stud (n.1) "nailhead, knob;" stud (n.2) "horse kept for breeding;" stylite; subsist; substance; substitute; substitution; superstition; system; Taurus; understand.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit tisthati "stands;" Avestan histaiti "to stand;" Persian -stan "country," literally "where one stands;" Greek histēmi "put, place, cause to stand; weigh," stasis "a standing still," statos "placed," stylos "pillar;" Latin sistere "stand still, stop, make stand, place, produce in court," status "manner, position, condition, attitude," stare "to stand," statio "station, post;" Lithuanian stojuos "I place myself," statau "I place;" Old Church Slavonic staja "place myself," stanu "position;" Gothic standan, Old English standan "to stand," stede "place;" Old Norse steði "anvil;" Old Irish sessam "the act of standing."
late 14c. (transitive), "to collect into a cluster or group," from cluster (n.). Intransitive sense, "to form or constitute a cluster," is from 1540s. Related: Clustered; clustering.
early 15c., "to include," from Old French compris, past participle of comprendre "to contain, comprise" (12c.), from Latin comprehendere "to take together, to unite; include; seize; to comprehend, perceive" (to seize or take in the mind), from com "with, together," here probably "completely" (see com-) + prehendere "to catch hold of, seize," from prae- "before" (see pre-) + -hendere, from PIE root *ghend- "to seize, take." Related: Comprised; comprising. From late 15c. as "to contain," as parts making up a whole; from 1794 as "to constitute, make up, compose."
The North American songbird (Cardinalis virginianus) is attested from 1670s, so named for its fine red color, resembling the cardinals in their red robes.
1660s, "to denote secondarily," from Medieval Latin connotare "to signify in addition to the main meaning," a term in logic, literally "to mark along with," from assimilated form of Latin com "with, together" (see con-) + notare "to mark, note, make a note," from nota "mark, sign, means of recognition" (see note (n.)). Meaning "to signify, constitute the meaning of a word" is from 1829 (J.S. Mill); hence, in extended general sense "to imply" (1865). Related: Connoted; connoting.
A word denotes its primary meaning, its barest adequate definition -- father denotes "one that has begotten." A word connotes the attributes commonly associated with it -- father connotes "male sex, prior existence, greater experience, affection, guidance."
college slang for "intelligence, wit, cleverness, common sense," 1706, from Greek nous, Attic form of noos "mind, intelligence, perception, intellect," which was taken in English in philosophy 1670s as "the perceptive and intelligent faculty." The Greek word is of uncertain origin. Beekes writes, "No doubt an old inherited verbal noun ..., though there is no certain etymology."
It is always difficult to find an English word to represent nous. The standard dictionary translation is "mind," but this does not have the correct connotations, particularly when the word is used in a religious philosophy. ... Mathematics, the world of ideas, and all thought about what is not sensible, have, for Pythagoras, Plato, and Plotinus, something divine; they constitute the activity of nous, or at least the nearest approach to its activity that we can conceive. [Bertrand Russell, "A History of Western Philosophy"]
The propensity which leads an insane person to accomplish his purpose by burning, has been considered to merit particular notice, and to constitute a variety of monomania. Dr. Marc, of France, has published a memoir on the subject; he gives the name of pyromania to it, and considers that, like other insane propensities, it may be the result of instinct, or it may be the result of delusion—reasoning upon erroneous principles. [Alexander Morrison, M.D., "The Physiognomy of Mental Diseases," London, 1840]
An older word for it was incendiarism.