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Constitutional Glossary

There are 32 entries in this glossary.
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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.