[ ih-stab-lish ]
See synonyms for: establishestablishedestablishesestablishing on

verb (used with object)
  1. to found, institute, build, or bring into being on a firm or stable basis: to establish a university; to establish a medical practice.

  2. to install or settle in a position, place, business, etc.: to establish one's child in business.

  1. to show to be valid or true; prove: to establish the facts of the matter.

  2. to cause to be accepted or recognized: to establish a custom; She established herself as a leading surgeon.

  3. to bring about permanently: to establish order.

  4. to enact, appoint, or ordain for permanence, as a law; fix unalterably.

  5. to make (a church) a national or state institution.

  6. Cards. to obtain control of (a suit) so that one can win all the subsequent tricks in it.

Origin of establish

First recorded in 1325–75; Middle English establissen, establishen, from Middle French establiss-, extended stem of establir, from Latin stabilīre, derivative of stabilis stable2

synonym study For establish

1. See fix.

Other words for establish

Opposites for establish

Other words from establish

  • es·tab·lish·a·ble, adjective
  • es·tab·lish·er, noun
  • re·es·tab·lish, verb (used with object)
  • su·per·es·tab·lish, verb (used with object)
  • un·es·tab·lish·a·ble, adjective

Words Nearby establish Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use establish in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for establish


/ (ɪˈstæblɪʃ) /

verb(usually tr)
  1. to make secure or permanent in a certain place, condition, job, etc: to establish one's usefulness; to establish a house

  2. to create or set up (an organization, etc) on or as if on a permanent basis: to establish a company

  1. to prove correct or free from doubt; validate: to establish a fact

  2. to cause (a principle, theory, etc) to be widely or permanently accepted: to establish a precedent

  3. to give (a Church) the status of a national institution

  4. (of a person) to become recognized and accepted: he established himself as a reliable GP

  5. (in works of imagination) to cause (a character, place, etc) to be credible and recognized: the first scene established the period

  6. cards to make winners of (the remaining cards of a suit) by forcing out opponents' top cards

  7. (also intr) botany

    • to cause (a plant) to grow or (of a plant) to grow in a new place: the birch scrub has established over the past 25 years

    • to become or cause to become a sapling or adult plant from a seedling

Origin of establish

C14: from Old French establir, from Latin stabilīre to make firm, from stabilis stable ²

Derived forms of establish

  • establisher, 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