• synonyms


[in-sti-too-shuh-nl-iz-uh m, -tyoo-]
  1. the system of institutions or organized societies devoted to public, charitable, or similar purposes.
  2. strong attachment to established institutions, as of religion.
  3. the policy or practice of using public institutions to house and care for people considered incapable of caring for themselves.
  4. the belief or policy that a church must maintain institutions of education, welfare, etc., for its members.
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Origin of institutionalism

First recorded in 1860–65; institutional + -ism
Related formsin·sti·tu·tion·al·ist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for institutionalism

Historical Examples

  • The third difficulty of the rural school system is its institutionalism.

    Rural Problems of Today

    Ernest R. Groves

  • It is a picture of the paralyzing effect of tradition and institutionalism on all human life, growth, and change.

  • We have spoken of the Master's rebukes of any form of institutionalism which stands in the way of human rights.

  • In the last resort, criticism of the Church, of Christian institutionalism, is really criticism of ourselves.

  • But he was in constant rebellion against the academic world and, indeed, against all institutionalism.

    The Critical Game

    John Albert Macy

British Dictionary definitions for institutionalism


  1. the system of or belief in institutions
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Derived Formsinstitutionalist, 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