[ in-sti-too-shuh-nl-ahyz, -tyoo- ]

verb (used with object),in·sti·tu·tion·al·ized, in·sti·tu·tion·al·iz·ing.
  1. to make institutional.

  2. to make into or treat as an institution: the danger of institutionalizing racism.

  1. to place or confine in an institution, especially one for the care of mental illness, alcoholism, etc.

Origin of institutionalize

First recorded in 1860–65; institutional + -ize
  • Also especially British, in·sti·tu·tion·al·ise .

Other words from institutionalize

  • in·sti·tu·tion·al·i·za·tion [in-sti-too-shuh-nl-ahy-zey-shuhn, -tyoo-], /ˌɪn stɪˌtu ʃə nlˌaɪˈzeɪ ʃən, -ˌtyu-/, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use institutionalize in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for institutionalize



/ (ˌɪnstɪˈtjuːʃənəˌlaɪz) /

  1. (tr; often passive) to subject to the deleterious effects of confinement in an institution: a mental patient who was institutionalized into boredom and apathy

  2. (tr) to place in an institution

  1. to make or become an institution

Derived forms of institutionalize

  • institutionalization or institutionalisation, 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