Meaning of CONSTANT in English


I. ˈkänztənt, -n(t)st- adjective

Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin constant-, constans, present participle of constare to stand firm, be consistent, from com- + stare to stand — more at stand

1. : marked by firmness, steadfastness, resolution, or faithfulness : not weak, yielding, vacillating, or disloyal

a man constant in adherence to his ideals

a constant friend

2. : fixed and invariable

the content of constitutional immunities is not constant but varies from age to age — B.N.Cardozo

: remaining unchanged : steady , uniform

a constant -flow calorimeter

3. : marked by continual recurring or by regular occurrence, operation, or manifestation

their aims and their methods have been subject to constant scrutiny, not only by professionals, but also by parents and citizens — J.B.Conant

the children running in and out of the house were a constant annoyance

4. obsolete : firm and steady : immovable , solid

5. obsolete : confident in opinion : positive , certain

Synonyms: see continual , faithful , steady

II. noun

( -s )

1. : something that does not vary or change in its relationship or in an essential relationship with other things

the one constant in all this is that each page is indelibly marked with personality — E.A.Weeks

the environment should be the constant ; the individual, the variable — W.H.Whyte


a. : an abstract number or a physically dimensional quantity having a fixed or approximately fixed value (as in a situation or throughout the operation concerned) and being sometimes universal and permanent (as the circular ratio π or the constant of gravitation) or sometimes characteristic of some substance or instrument (as the refractive index of an optical glass or the sensitivity of a galvanometer)

b. : a magnitude in mathematics that is assumed not to change its value in a certain discussion, process, or stage of investigation — opposed to variable

c. : a term in logic with an invariant denotation : a symbol with fixed designation (as a connective, quantifier, or parenthesis) — contrasted with variable

d. : a kind of plant or animal (as a species or variety) that is regularly present in a particular ecological community (as an association)

2. : a secondary-school subject considered of such basic importance that it is required of all pupils

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.