[ in-sti-too-shuhn, -tyoo- ]
See synonyms for: institutioninstitutions on

  1. an organization, establishment, foundation, society, or the like, devoted to the promotion of a particular cause or program, especially one of a public, educational, or charitable character: This college is the best institution of its kind.

  2. the building occupied by such an establishment.

  1. a public or private place for the care or confinement of inmates, especially mental patients or other persons with physical or mental disabilities.

  2. Sociology. a well-established and structured pattern of behavior or of relationships that is accepted as a fundamental part of a culture, as marriage: the institution of the family.

  3. any established law, custom, etc.

  4. any familiar, long-established person, thing, or practice; fixture.

  5. the act of instituting or setting up; establishment: the institution of laws.

  6. Ecclesiastical.

    • the origination of the Eucharist, and enactment of its observance, by Christ.

    • the investment of a member of the clergy with a spiritual charge.

Origin of institution

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Latin institūtiōn-, stem of institūtiō; equivalent to institute + -ion

Other words from institution

  • coun·ter·in·sti·tu·tion, noun
  • non·in·sti·tu·tion, noun
  • re·in·sti·tu·tion, noun

Words Nearby institution Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use institution in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for institution


/ (ˌɪnstɪˈtjuːʃən) /

  1. the act of instituting

  2. an organization or establishment founded for a specific purpose, such as a hospital, church, company, or college

  1. the building where such an organization is situated

  2. an established custom, law, or relationship in a society or community

  3. Also called: institutional investor a large organization, such as an insurance company, bank, or pension fund, that has substantial sums to invest on a stock exchange

  4. informal a constant feature or practice: Jones' drink at the bar was an institution

  5. the appointment or admission of an incumbent to an ecclesiastical office or pastoral charge

  6. Christian theol the creation of a sacrament by Christ, esp the Eucharist

Derived forms of institution

  • institutionary, adjective

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