• synonyms


[in-sti-too-shuh-nl-ahyz, -tyoo-]
See more synonyms for institutionalize on Thesaurus.com
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.
  3. to place or confine in an institution, especially one for the care of mental illness, alcoholism, etc.
Show More
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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for institutionalize

regulate, systematize, order

Examples from the Web for institutionalize

Contemporary Examples of institutionalize

British Dictionary definitions for institutionalize



  1. (tr; often passive) to subject to the deleterious effects of confinement in an institutiona mental patient who was institutionalized into boredom and apathy
  2. (tr) to place in an institution
  3. to make or become an institution
Show More
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 institutionalize


"to put into institutional life" (usually deprecatory), 1905; see institution. Related: Institutionalized. Earlier (1865) it meant "to make into an institution."

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

institutionalize in Medicine


  1. To place a person in the care of an institution, especially one providing care for the disabled or mentally ill.
Show More
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.