[ in-sti-too-shuh-nl-ahyz, -tyoo- ]
/ ˌɪn stɪˈtu ʃə nlˌaɪz, -ˈtyu- /

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

to make institutional.
to make into or treat as an institution: the danger of institutionalizing racism.
to place or confine in an institution, especially one for the care of mental illness, alcoholism, etc.

Nearby words

  1. institution,
  2. institutional,
  3. institutional investor,
  4. institutionalism,
  5. institutionalization,
  6. institutionally,
  7. institutionary,
  8. institutive,
  9. institutor,
  10. instr.

Also especially British, in·sti·tu·tion·al·ise.

Origin of institutionalize

First recorded in 1860–65; institutional + -ize

Related formsin·sti·tu·tion·al·i·za·tion, nounre·in·sti·tu·tion·al·i·za·tion, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for institutionalization

British Dictionary definitions for institutionalization



/ (ˌɪnstɪˈtjuːʃənəˌlaɪz) /


(tr; often passive) to subject to the deleterious effects of confinement in an institutiona mental patient who was institutionalized into boredom and apathy
(tr) to place in an institution
to make or become an institution
Derived Formsinstitutionalization 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

Word Origin and History for institutionalization
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for institutionalization


[ ĭn′stĭ-tōōshə-nə-līz′ ]


To place a person in the care of an institution, especially one providing care for the disabled or mentally ill.
Related formsin′sti•tu′tion•al•i•zation (-shə-nə-lĭ-zāshən) n.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.