[ in-sti-toot, -tyoot ]
See synonyms for: instituteinstitutedinstituting on

verb (used with object),in·sti·tut·ed, in·sti·tut·ing.
  1. to set up; establish; organize: to institute a government.

  2. to inaugurate; initiate; start: to institute a new course in American literature.

  1. to set in operation: to institute a lawsuit.

  2. to bring into use or practice: to institute laws.

  3. to establish in an office or position.

  4. Ecclesiastical. to assign to or invest with a spiritual charge, as of a parish.

  1. a society or organization for carrying on a particular work, as of a literary, scientific, or educational character.

  2. the building occupied by such a society.

  1. Education.

    • an institution, generally beyond the secondary school level, devoted to instruction in technical subjects, usually separate but sometimes organized as a part of a university.

    • a unit within a university organized for advanced instruction and research in a relatively narrow field of subject matter.

    • a short instructional program set up for a special group interested in a specialized field or subject.

  2. an established principle, law, custom, or organization.

  3. institutes,

    • an elementary textbook of law designed for beginners.

    • (initial capital letter)Also called Institutes of Justinian. an elementary treatise on Roman law in four books, forming one of the four divisions of the Corpus Juris Civilis.

  4. something instituted.

Origin of institute

First recorded in 1275–1325; Middle English, from Latin institūtus, past participle of instituere “to set, put up, establish,” equivalent to in- ”in” + -stitū- (combining form of statū-, stem of statuere “to place upright, set, stand” ) + -tus past participle suffix; see in-2, stand

Other words from institute

  • re·in·sti·tute, verb (used with object), re·in·sti·tut·ed, re·in·sti·tut·ing.
  • un·in·sti·tut·ed, adjective
  • well-in·sti·tut·ed, adjective

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

How to use institute in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for institute


/ (ˈɪnstɪˌtjuːt) /

  1. to organize; establish

  2. to initiate: to institute a practice

  1. to establish in a position or office; induct

  2. (foll by in or into) to install (a clergyman) in a church

  1. an organization founded for particular work, such as education, promotion of the arts, or scientific research

  2. the building where such an organization is situated

  1. something instituted, esp a rule, custom, or precedent

Origin of institute

C16: from Latin instituere, from statuere to place, stand

Derived forms of institute

  • institutor or instituter, 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