• synonyms


or de-in·sti·tu·tion·al·ize

[dee-in-sti-too-shuh-nl-ahyz, -tyoo-, dee-in-]
verb (used with object), de·in·sti·tu·tion·al·ized, de·in·sti·tu·tion·al·iz·ing.
  1. to release (a person with mental or physical disabilities) from a hospital, asylum, home, or other institution with the intention of providing treatment, support, or rehabilitation primarily through community resources under the supervision of health-care professionals or facilities.
  2. to remove (care, therapy, etc.) from the confines of an institution by providing treatment, support, or the like through community facilities.
  3. to free from the confines or limitations of an institution.
  4. to free from the bureaucracy and complex procedures associated with institutions.
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verb (used without object), de·in·sti·tu·tion·al·ized, de·in·sti·tu·tion·al·iz·ing.
  1. to give up or lose institutional character or status; become deinstitutionalized.
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Also especially British, de·in·sti·tu·tion·al·ise.

Origin of deinstitutionalize

First recorded in 1960–65; de- + institutionalize
Related formsde·in·sti·tu·tion·al·i·za·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Word Origin and History for deinstitutionalization


1967 (disinstitutionalization is attested from 1955), from de- + institutionalization.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

deinstitutionalization in Medicine


  1. The release of institutionalized people, especially mental health patients, from an institution for placement and care in the community.
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Related formsde•in′sti•tution•al•ize′ v.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.