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[kon-sti-too-shuh-nl-iz-uh m, -tyoo-] /ˌkɒn stɪˈtu ʃə nlˌɪz əm, -ˈtyu-/
the principles of constitutional government or adherence to them.
constitutional rule or authority.
Origin of constitutionalism
1825-35; constitutional + -ism
Related forms
anticonstitutionalism, noun
hyperconstitutionalism, noun
proconstitutionalism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for constitutionalism
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He saw himself as the moral leader of the revolution and simultaneously as the necessary advocate of constitutionalism.

    Government in Republican China Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger
  • So it has been with Protestantism, the constitutionalism of Christianity.

    The Huguenots in France Samuel Smiles.
  • In its early days and in its more moderate forms, it sought its ends under the guise of constitutionalism.

    Liberalism L. T. Hobhouse
  • Under these circumstances, as was to be expected, constitutionalism was soon overthrown.

    The Problem of China Bertrand Russell
  • constitutionalism is further than the republic, because it is the State in incipient dissolution.

    The Ego and His Own Max Stirner
  • But it is between despotism or absolutism and constitutionalism.

  • constitutionalism and nationality were sneered down as idle and reprehensible things.

    The Village Notary Jzsef Etvs
  • Even in Austria-ridden Italy, where constitutionalism was impossible, the middle class was allowed a part in the administration.

    Modern Italian Poets William Dean Howells
  • The state-governments had overcome the attacks of constitutionalism, and seemed to be more independent of control than ever.

British Dictionary definitions for constitutionalism


the principles, spirit, or system of government in accord with a constitution, esp a written constitution
adherence to or advocacy of such a system or such principles
Derived Forms
constitutionalist, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for constitutionalism

1832, "constitutional system of government;" occasionally also "constitutionality;" from constitutional (adj.) + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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