constance (n.) Look up constance at
mid-14c., "steadfastness," from Old French constance "steadfastness, permanence" (14c.), from Latin constantia (source of Italian costanza, Spanish constancia), noun of action from constantem (see constant (adj.)). Obsolete since 17c. except as a given name for a girl, which enjoyed a mild popularity in U.S. c. 1945-1955.
constancy (n.) Look up constancy at
1520s, from constance + -cy.
constant (adj.) Look up constant at
late 14c., "steadfast, resolute," from Old French constant (14c.) or directly from Latin constantem (nominative constans) "standing firm, stable, steadfast, faithful," present participle of constare, from com- "together" (see com-) + stare "to stand," from PIE root *sta- "to stand" (see stet). Of actions and conditions from 1650s. Related: Constantly.
constant (n.) Look up constant at
1832 in mathematics and physics, from constant (adj.).
Constantinople Look up Constantinople at
the proper name from 330 C.E. to 1930 C.E. of what is now Istanbul, from Greek Konstantinou polis "Constantine's city," named for Roman emperor Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus, whose name is derived from Latin constans (see constant (adj.)) + common name-forming suffix -inus (see -ine (1)).
constellation (n.) Look up constellation at
early 14c., from Old French constellacion "constellation, conjuncture (of planets)," from Late Latin constellationem (nominative constellatio) "set with stars," from constellatus, from Latin com- "with" (see com-) + past participle of stellare "to shine," from stella "star" (see star). Originally in astrology, of position of planets ("stars") in regard to one another on a given day, usually one's birth day, as a determination of one's character. "I folwed ay myn inclinacioun/By vertu of my constillacioun" (Chaucer, "Wife's Prologue," c. 1386). Modern astronomical sense is from 1550s.
consternate (v.) Look up consternate at
1650s, from Latin consternatus, past participle of consternare (see consternation).
consternation (n.) Look up consternation at
1610s, from French consternation "dismay, confusion," from Latin consternationem (nominative consternatio) "confusion, dismay," from consternat-, past participle stem of consternare "overcome, confuse, dismay, perplex, terrify, alarm," probably related to consternere "throw down, prostrate," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + sternere "to spread out" (see stratum).
constipate (v.) Look up constipate at
1530s, in part a back-formation from constipation, in part from Latin constipatus, past participle of constipare (see constipation). Earlier as an adjective (early 15c.); an earlier verb in this sense was constipen (late 14c.). Related: Constipated; constipating.
constipation (n.) Look up constipation at
c. 1400, "constriction of tissue," from Late Latin constipationem (nominative constipatio), noun of state from Latin constipare "to press or crowd together," from com- "together" (see com-) + stipare "to cram, pack" (see stiff (adj.)). Specifically of the bowel condition since 1540s.
constituency (n.) Look up constituency at
"body of constituents," 1806, from constituent + -cy.
constituent (n.) Look up constituent at
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.
constitute (v.) Look up constitute at
mid-15c., verb use of adjective constitute, "made up, formed" (late 14c.), from Latin constitutus "arranged, settled," past participle adjective from 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 com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + statuere "to set," from PIE root *sta- "to stand," with derivatives meaning "place or thing that is standing" (see stet). Related: Constituted; constituting.
constitution (n.) Look up constitution at
mid-14c., "law, regulation, edict," 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," from constitut-, past participle stem of constituere (see constitute).

Meaning "action of establishing" is from 1580s; 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 principles by which a community is governed" dates from 1730s; especially of a document of written laws since the U.S. and French constitutions, late 18c.
constitutional (adj.) Look up constitutional at
1680s, "pertaining to a person's (physical or mental) constitution," from constitution + -al (1). Meaning "beneficial to bodily constitution" is from 1750. Meaning "authorized or allowed by the political constitution" is from 1765. Constitutional monarchy is recorded from 1801, from French. Related: Constitutionally.
constitutional (n.) Look up constitutional at
"a constitutional walk," 1829, probably originally among university students, from constitutional (adj.) in the "beneficial to bodily health" sense.
constitutionalism (n.) Look up constitutionalism at
1832, "constitutional system of government;" occasionally also "constitutionality;" from constitutional (adj.) + -ism.
constitutionality (n.) Look up constitutionality at
1787, "quality of being in accord with a constitution," from constitutional (adj.) + -ity.
constitutive (adj.) Look up constitutive at
c. 1600, "having the power of establishing," also "elemental, essential," from Medieval Latin *constitutivus, from constitut-, past participle stem of constituere (see constitute). Related: Constitutively.
constrain (v.) Look up constrain at
early 14c., constreyen, from stem of Old French constreindre (Modern French contraindre) "restrain, control," from Latin constringere "to bind together, tie tightly, fetter, shackle, chain," from com- "together" (see com-) + stringere "to draw tight" (see strain (v.)). Related: Constrained; constraining.
constraint (n.) Look up constraint at
late 14c., "distress, oppression," from Old French constreinte "binding, constraint, compulsion" (Modern French contrainte), fem. noun from constreint, past participle of constreindre, from Vulgar Latin *constrinctus, from Latin constrictus (see constrain). Meaning "coercion, compulsion" is from 1530s.
constrict (v.) Look up constrict at
early 15c., from Latin constrictus, past participle of constringere "compress" (see constrain). A direct borrowing from Latin of the same word which, via French, became constrain. Related: Constricted; constricting.
constriction (n.) Look up constriction at
c. 1400, from Latin constrictionem (nominative constrictio), noun of action from past participle stem of constringere "compress" (see constrain).
constrictive (adj.) Look up constrictive at
c. 1400, from Late Latin constrictivus, from Latin constrictus (see constrict).
constrictor (n.) Look up constrictor at
1735, agent noun in Latin form from constrict.
construct (v.) Look up construct at
early 15c., from Latin constructus, past participle of construere "to heap up" (see construction). Related: Constructed; constructing.
construct (n.) Look up construct at
1871 in linguistics, 1890 in psychology, 1933 in the general sense of "anything constructed;" from construct (v.).
construction (n.) Look up construction at
late 14c., from Old French construction or directly from Latin constructionem (nominative constructio), from construct-, past participle stem of construere "pile up together, accumulate; build, make, erect," from com- "together" (see com-) + struere "to pile up" (see structure (n.)).
constructionist (n.) Look up constructionist at
1844, in reference to the U.S. Constitution, from construction + -ist. Usually with strict or loose.
constructive (adj.) Look up constructive at
early 15c., "derived by interpretation," from Middle French constructif or from Medieval Latin constructivus, from Latin construct-, past participle stem of construere "to heap up" (see construction). Meaning "pertaining to construction" is from 1817; "having the quality of constructing" is from 1841. Related: Constructively. Constructive criticism is attested by 1841.
constructivism (n.) Look up constructivism at
1924, in reference to an abstract artistic movement begun in Russia c. 1920, from Russian konstruktivizm. Related: Constructivist (1928).
construe (v.) Look up construe at
late 14c., from Late Latin construere "to relate grammatically," in classical Latin "to build up, pile together" (see construction); also see construct (v.), which is a later acquisition of the same word. Related: Construed; construing; construal.
consubstantial (adj.) Look up consubstantial at
late 15c., a term in the theology of the trinity, from Church Latin consubstantialis, from com- "with" (see com-) + substantia (see substance). In general use from 1570s. Related: Consubstantiality.
consubstantiation (n.) Look up consubstantiation at
1590s, from Church Latin consubstantionem (nominative consubstantio), noun of action from past participle stem of consubstantiare, from com- "with" (see com-) + substantia (see substance). Related: Consubstantiate.
consuetude (n.) Look up consuetude at
late 14c., from Middle French consuetude, from Latin consuetudo, from consuetus, past participle of consuescere "to accustom" (see custom).
consul (n.) Look up consul at
late 14c., "magistrate in ancient Rome," from Old French consule and directly from Latin consul "magistrate in ancient Rome," probably originally "one who consults the Senate," from consulere "to deliberate, take counsel" (see consultation).

Modern sense began with use as appellation of various foreign officials and magistrates, "a representative chosen by a community of merchants living in a foreign country; an agent appointed by a government or ruler to represent the interests of its subjects and traders in a foreign place" (c. 1600), an extended sense that developed 13c. in the Spanish form of the word.
consular (adj.) Look up consular at
early 15c., from Latin consularis, from consul (see consul).
consulate (n.) Look up consulate at
late 14c., "government of Rome by the consuls," from Latin consulatus "office of a consul," from consul (see consul). Also used in reference to the consular government of France from 1799-1804. In reference to the office of a modern consul, from 1702.
consult (v.) Look up consult at
1520s, from Middle French consulter (16c.), from Latin consultare "consult, take the advice of," frequentative of consulere "to take counsel, meet and consider" (see consultation). Related: Consulted; consulting.
consultant (n.) Look up consultant at
1690s, of persons going to oracles, from consult + -ant. Of physicians, from 1878; meaning "one qualified to give professional advice" is first attested 1893 in a Sherlock Holmes story. Related: Consultancy (1955).
consultation (n.) Look up consultation at
early 15c., from Middle French consultation, from Latin consultationem (nominative consultatio), from past participle stem of consultare "consult, ask counsel of; reflect, consider maturely," frequentative of consulere "to deliberate, consider," originally probably "to call together," as in consulere senatum "to gather the senate" (to ask for advice), from com- "with" (see com-) + *selere "take, gather (the Senate) together," from PIE root *sal- "to take, seize."
consultative (adj.) Look up consultative at
1580s, from Medieval Latin *consultativus, from consultat-, past participle stem of consultare (see consultation).
consumable (adj.) Look up consumable at
1640s, from consume + -able.
consumables (n.) Look up consumables at
"articles of consumption," 1802, from consumable.
consume (v.) Look up consume at
late 14c., from Old French consumer "to consume" (12c.) and directly from Latin consumere "to use up, eat, waste," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + sumere "to take," from sub- "under" + emere "to buy, take" (see exempt (adj.)).
consumer (n.) Look up consumer at
early 15c., "one who squanders or wastes," agent noun from consume. In economic sense, "one who uses up goods or articles" (opposite of producer) from 1745. Consumer goods is attested from 1890. In U.S., consumer price index calculated since 1919, tracking "changes in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative basket of goods and services" [Bureau of Labor Statistics]; abbreviation CPI is attested by 1971.
consumerism (n.) Look up consumerism at
1944, "protection of the consumer's interest," from consumer + -ism. Also, "encouraging consumption as an economic policy" (1960). Related: Consumerist (1965, n.; 1969, adj.).
consummate (adj.) Look up consummate at
mid-15c., from Latin consummatus "perfected, complete," past participle of consummare "sum up, complete" (see consummation). Of persons, "accomplished, very qualified," from 1640s. Related: Consummately.
consummate (v.) Look up consummate at
1520s, "to bring to completion," from Latin consummatus, past participle of consummare "to sum up, make up, complete, finish" (see consummation). Meaning "to bring a marriage to completion" (by sexual intercourse) is from 1530s. Related: Consummated; consummating.
consummated (adj.) Look up consummated at
1640s, "perfected," past participle adjective from consummate (v.). Of marriage, from 1709; earlier consummate (adj.) was used in this sense (1530s).