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[in-sti-too-shuh-nl-iz-uh m, -tyoo-] /ˌɪn stɪˈtu ʃə nlˌɪz əm, -ˈtyu-/
the system of institutions or organized societies devoted to public, charitable, or similar purposes.
strong attachment to established institutions, as of religion.
the policy or practice of using public institutions to house and care for people considered incapable of caring for themselves.
the belief or policy that a church must maintain institutions of education, welfare, etc., for its members.
Origin of institutionalism
First recorded in 1860-65; institutional + -ism
Related forms
institutionalist, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for institutionalism
Historical Examples
  • The third difficulty of the rural school system is its institutionalism.

    Rural Problems of Today Ernest R. Groves
  • It is a picture of the paralyzing effect of tradition and institutionalism on all human life, growth, and change.

  • We have spoken of the Master's rebukes of any form of institutionalism which stands in the way of human rights.

    Understanding the Scriptures Francis McConnell
  • In the last resort, criticism of the Church, of Christian institutionalism, is really criticism of ourselves.

  • But he was in constant rebellion against the academic world and, indeed, against all institutionalism.

    The Critical Game

    John Albert Macy
  • It is not an accident that America, where institutionalism is weakest, is the happy hunting-ground of religious quacks and cranks.

    Outspoken Essays William Ralph Inge
British Dictionary definitions for institutionalism


the system of or belief in institutions
Derived Forms
institutionalist, 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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