Wednesday 13 December 2017
Search - Content
Search SEO Glossary
Contact Us

Constitutional Glossary

There are 50 entries in this glossary.
Search for glossary terms (regular expression allowed)
Begin with Contains Exact termSounds like
All A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

ABIL'ITY, n. [L. habilitas, ableness, fitness, from habeo, to have or hold.]
1. Physical power, whether bodily or mental; natural or acquired; force of understanding; skill in arts or science. Ability is active power, or power to perform; as opposed to capacity, or power to receive. In the plural, abilities is much used in a like sense; and also for faculties of the mind, and acquired qualifications.
2. Riches, wealth, substance, which are the means, or which furnish the power, of doing certain acts.
They gave after their ability to the work. Ez. 2.
3. Moral power, depending on the will - a metaphysical and theological sense.
4. Civil or legal power, the power or right to do certain things, as an ability to transfer property or dispose of effects - ability to inherit. It is opposed to disability.


1. Not present; not in company; at such a distance as to prevent communication. It is used also for being in a foreign country.
A gentleman is absent on his travels.
Absent from one another. Gen. 31:49.
2. Heedless; inattentive to persons present, or to subjects of conversation in company.
An absent man is uncivil to the company.
3. In familiar language, not at home; as, the master of the house is absent. In other words, he does not wish to be disturbed by company.


1. Completely, wholly, as a thing is absolutely unintelligible.
2. Without dependence or relation; in a state unconnected
Absolutely we cannot discommend, we cannot absolutely approve, either willingness to live, or forwardness to die.
3. Without restriction or limitation; as God reigns absolutely.
4. Without condition, as God does not forgive absolutely, but upon condition of faith and repentance.
5. Positively, peremptorily, as command me absolutely not to go.


ACCEPT', v.t. [L. accepto, from accipio, ad and capio, to take.]
1. To take or receive what is offered, with a consenting mind; to receive with approbation or favor.
Bless, Lord, his substance, and accept the work of his hands. Deut. 33.
He made an offer which was accepted.
Observe the difference between receive and accept.
He received an appointment or the offer of a commission, but he did not accept it.
2. To regard with partiality; to value or esteem.
It is not good to accept the person of the wicked. Prov. 28. 2 Cor. 8.
In theology, acceptance with God implies forgiveness of sins and reception into his favor.
3. To consent or agree to; to receive as terms of a contract; as, to accept a treaty; often followed by of.
Accept of the terms.
4. To understand; to have a particular idea of; to receive in a particular sense.
How is this phrase to be accepted?
5. In commerce, to agree or promise to pay, as a bill of exchange. [See Acceptance.]


1. A receiving with approbation or satisfaction; favorable reception; as work done to acceptance.
They shall come up with acceptance on my altar. Isa. 60.
2. the receiving of a bill of exchange or order, in such a manner, as to bind the acceptor to make payment. This must be by express words; and to charge the drawer with costs, in case of non payment, the acceptance must be in writing, under across, or on the back of the bill.
3. An agreeing to terms or proposals in commerce, by which a bargain is concluded and the parties bound.
4. An agreeing to the act or contact of another, by some act which binds the person in law; as, a bishop's taking rent reserved on a lease made by his predecessor, is an acceptance of the terms of the lease and binds the party.
5. In mercantile language, a bill of exchange accepted; as a merchant receives another's acceptance in payment.
6. Formerly, the sense is which a word is understood. Obs.


ADJOURN', v.i. To suspend business for a time; as, from one day to another, or for a longer period, usually public business, as of legislatures and courts, for repose or refreshment; as, congress adjourned at four o'clock. It is also used for the act of closing the session of a public body; as, the court adjourned without day.
It was moved that parliament should adjourn for six weeks.


1. The act of adjourning; as, in legislatures, the adjournment of one house is not an adjournment of the other.
2. The putting off till another day or time specified, or without day; that is, the closing of a session of a public or official body.
3. The time or interval during which a public body defers business; as, during an adjournment. but a suspension of business, between the forming of a house and an adjournment for refreshment, is all a recess. In Great Britain, the close of a session of parliament is called a prorogation; as the close of a parliament is a dissolution. But in Great Britain, as well as in the United States, adjournment is now used for an intermission of business, for any indefinite time; as, an adjournment of parliament for six weeks.


ADMIT'TED, pp. Permitted to enter or approach; allowed; granted; conceded.


ADOP'TION, n. [L. adoptio.]
1. The act of adopting, or the state of being adopted; the taking and treating of a stranger as one's own child.
2. The receiving as one's own, what is new or not natural.
3. God's taking the sinful children of men into his favor and protection.
Adoption of arms, an ancient ceremony of presenting arms to one for his merit or valor, which laid the person under an obligation to defend the giver.
Adoption by baptism is the spiritual affinity which is contracted by god-fathers and god-children, in the ceremony of baptism. It was introduced into the Greek church, and afterwards among the ancient Franks. This affinity was supposed to entitle the god-child to a share of the god-father's estate.
Adoption by hair was performed by cutting off the hair of a person and giving it to the adoptive father. Thus Pope John VIII adopted Boson, king of Arles.
Adoption by matrimony is the taking the children of a wife or husband, by a former marriage, into the condition of natural children. This is a practice peculiar to the Germans; but is not so properly adoption as adfiliation.
Adoption by testament is the appointing of a person to be heir, by will, or condition of his taking the name, arms, &c. of the adopter.
In Europe, adoption is used for many kinds of admission to a more intimate relation, and is nearly equivalent to reception; as, the admission of persons into hospitals, or monasteries, or of one society into another.


ADVI'CE, n. [L. viso, to see, to visit.]
1. Counsel; an opinion recommended, or offered, as worthy to be followed.
What advice give ye? 2Ch. 10.

With good advice make war. Prov. 20.
We may give advice, but we cannot give conduct.
2. Prudence; deliberate consideration.
3. Information; notice; intelligence; as, we have late advices from France.
To take advice, is to consult with others.


AFFECT', v.t. [L. afficio, affectum, of ad and facio, to make; affecto, to desire, from the same room. Affect is to make to, or upon to press upon.]
1. To act upon; to produce an effect or change upon; as, cold affects the body; loss affects our interests.
2. To act upon, or move the passions; as, affected with grief.
3. To aim at; aspire to; desire or entertain pretension to; as, to affect imperial sway. [See the etymology of Affair.]
4. To tend to by natural affinity or disposition; as, the drops of a fluid affect a spherical form.
5. To love, or regard with fondness.
Think not that wars we love and strife affect.
[This sense is closely allied to the third.]
6. To make a show of; to attempt to imitate, in a manner not natural; to study the appearance of what is not natural, or real; as, to affect to be grave; affected friendship.
It seems to have been used formerly for convict or attaint, as in Ayliffe's Parergon; but this sense is not now in use.


1. Impressing; having an effect on; touching the feelings; moving the passions; attempting a false show; greatly desiring; aspiring to possess.
2. a. Having power to excite, or move the passions; tending to move the affections; pathetic; as, an affecting address.
The most affecting music is generally the most simple.


1. The act of affirming or asserting as true; opposed to negation or denial.
2. That which is asserted; position declared as true; averment.
3. Confirmation; ratification; an establishing of what had been before done or decreed.
4. A solemn declaration made under the penalties of perjury, by persons who conscientiously decline taking an oath; which affirmation is in law equivalent to testimony given under oath.


1. Concord; harmony; conformity.
What agreement hath the temple of God with idols? 2Cor. 6.
2. Union of opinions or sentiments; as, a good agreement subsists among the members of the council.
3. Resemblance; conformity; similitude.
Expansion and duration have this farther agreement.
4. Union of minds in regard to a transfer of interest; bargain; compact; contract; stipulation.
Make an agreement with me by a present. 2Kings 18.
He made an agreement for the purchase of a house.


ALLI'ANCE, n. [Gr.; L.]
1. The relation or union between families, contracted by marriage.
2. The union between nations, contracted by compact, treaty or league.
3. The treaty, league, or compact, which is the instrument of confederacy; sometimes perhaps the act of confederating.
4. Any union or connection of interests between persons, families, states or corporations; as, an alliance between church and state.
5. The persons or parties allied; as, men or states may secure any alliances in their power.


1. An alteration or change for the better; correction of a fault or faults; reformation of life, by quitting vices.
2. A word, clause or paragraph, added or proposed to be added to a bill before a legislature.
3. In law, the correction of an error in a writ or process.
Shakespeare uses it for the recovery of health, but this sense is unusual.


AD'MIRALTY, n. In Great Britain, the office of Lord High Admiral. This office is discharged by one person, or by Commissioners, called Lords of the Admiralty; usually seven in number.
The admiralty court, or court of admiralty, is the supreme court for the trial of maritime causes, held before the Lord High Admiral, or Lords of the admiralty.
In general, a court of admiralty is a court for the trial of causes arising on the high seas, as prize causes and the like. In the United States, there is no admiralty court, distinct from others; but the district courts, established in the several states by Congress, are invested with admiralty powers.


1. The act of appointing; designation to office; as, he erred by the appointment of suitable men.
2. Stipulation; assignation; the act of fixing by mutual agreement; as, they made an appointment to meet at six o'clock.
3. Decree; established order or constitution; as, it is our duty to submit to the divine appointments.
4. Direction; order; command.
Wheat, salt, wine and oil, let it be given according to the appointment of the priests. Ez. 6.
5. Equipment, furniture, as for a ship, or an army; whatever is appointed for use and management.
6. An allowance to a person; a salary or pension, as to a public officer.
An appointment differs from wages, in being a special grant, or gratification, not fixed, whereas wages are fixed and ordinary.
7. A devise or grant to a charitable use.


APPEL'LATE, a. Pertaining to appeals; having cognizance of appeals; as "appellate jurisdiction."


APPOINT', v.t.
1. To fix; to settle; to establish; to make fast.
When he appointed the foundations of the earth. Prov. 8.
2. To constitute, ordain, or fix by decree, order or decision.
Let Pharoah appoint officers over the land. Gen. 41.
He hath appointed a day in which he will judge the world. Act. 17.
3. To allot, assign or designate.
Aaron and his sons shall appoint every one to his service. Num 4.
These cities were appointed for all the children of Israel. Josh. 20.
4. To purpose or resolve; to fix the intention.
For so he had appointed. Acts 20.
5. To ordain, command or order.
Thy servants are ready to do whatever my Lord the King shall appoint. 2Sam. 15.
6. To settle; to fix, name or determine by agreement; as, they appointed a time and place for the meeting.


1. Fixed; set; established; decreed; ordained; constituted; allotted.
2. Furnished; equipped with things necessary; as, a ship or an army is well appointed.


1. The act of sequestering, or assigning to a particular use or person, in exclusion of all others; application to a special use or purpose; as, of a piece of ground for a park; of a right, to one's self; or of words, to ideas.
2. In law, the severing or sequestering of a benefice to the perpetual use of a spiritual corporation, sole or aggregate, being the patron of the living. For this purpose must be obtained the king's license, the consent of the bishop and of the patron. When the appropriation is thus made, the appropriator and his successors become perpetual parsons of the church, and must sue and be sued in that name.


APPROVE', v.t. [L. approbo; of ad and probo, to prove or approve. See Approbate, Prove and Proof.]
1. To like; to be pleased with; to admit the propriety of; as, we approve the measures of administration. This word may include, with the assent of the mind to the propriety, a commendation to others.
2. To prove; to show to be true; to justify.
Would'st thou approve thy constancy? Approve first thy wisdom.
[This sense, though common a century or two ago, is now rare.]
3. To experience; to prove by trial. [Not used. See Prove.]
4. To make or show to be worthy of approbation; to commend.
Jesus, a man approved of God. Acts 2.
This word seems to include the idea of Christ's real office as the Messiah, and of God's love and approbation of him in that character.
5. To like and sustain as right; to commend.
Yet their posterity approve their sayings. Ps. 49.
This word, when it signifies to be pleased, is often followed by of, in which use, it is intransitive; as, I approve of the measure. But the tendency of modern usage is to omit of. "I approve the measure."
6. To improve.


'ARMY, n.
1. A collection or body of men armed for war, and organized in companies, battalions, regiments, brigades and divisions, under proper officers. In general, an army in modern times consists of infantry and cavalry, with artillery; although the union of all is not essential to the constitution of an army. Among savages, armies are differently formed.
2. A great number; a vast multitude; as an army of locusts or caterpillars. Joel 2:25.


ARREST', v.t. [L. resto, to stop; Eng. to rest. See Rest.]
1. To obstruct; to stop; to check or hinder motion; as, to arrest the current of a river; to arrest the senses.
2. To take, seize or apprehend by virtue of a warrant from authority; as, to arrest one for debt or for a crime.
3. To seize and fix; as, to arrest the eyes or attention.
The appearance of such a person in the world, and at such a period, ought to arrest the consideration of every thinking mind.

1. The taking or apprehending of a person by virtue of a warrant from authority. An arrest is made by seizing or touching the body.
2. Any seizure, or taking by power, physical or moral.
3. A stop, hindrance or restraint.
4. In law, an arrest of judgment is the staying or stopping of a judgment after verdict, for causes assigned. Courts have power to arrest judgment for intrinsic causes appearing upon the face of the record; as when the declaration varies from the original writ; when the verdict differs materially from the pleadings; or when the case laid in the declaration is not sufficient in point of law, to found an action upon. The motion for this purpose is called a motion in arrest of judgment.
5. A mangy humor between the ham and pastern of the hind legs of a horse.

All A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z