es·​tab·​lish | \ i-ˈsta-blish How to pronounce establish (audio) \
established; establishing; establishes

Definition of establish

transitive verb

1 : to institute (something, such as a law) permanently by enactment or agreement
2 obsolete : settle sense 7
3a : to make firm or stable
b : to introduce and cause to grow and multiply establish grass on pasturelands
4a : to bring into existence : found established a republic
b : bring about, effect established friendly relations
5a : to put on a firm basis : set up establish his son in business
b : to put into a favorable position
c : to gain full recognition or acceptance of the role established her as a star
6 : to make (a church) a national or state institution
7 : to put beyond doubt : prove established my innocence

Other Words from establish

establishable \ i-​ˈsta-​bli-​shə-​bəl How to pronounce establish (audio) \ adjective
establisher \ i-​ˈsta-​bli-​shər How to pronounce establish (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for establish



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Examples of establish in a Sentence

The film established her as a star. She established a reputation as a hard worker. The word is now established as part of the English language. The company has established itself as a leader in the industry. As a young doctor he worked hard to establish himself in the community. They want to establish their children in the family business. She established a system of tracking expenses more accurately. The two countries established a mutual trade agreement. establishing a link between diet and cancer Investigators are trying to establish if anyone knew about these problems before the accident. See More
Recent Examples on the Web As his business grew, Mr. Bankman-Fried began to establish a public profile, tweeting about his favorite video games and going on TV to explain crypto to the masses. New York Times, 14 May 2022 Come July 16, the Federal Communications Commission will establish 988, where calls to the line will be redirected to the current 1-800-273-8255. San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 May 2022 Bowers said the department has been working to establish a co-responder program that pairs officers with mental health professionals, along with the mental health and crisis intervention training officers receive. Jasmine Hilton, Washington Post, 11 May 2022 The University of Pittsburgh cannot establish political guidelines for the Chengdu program, which, in terms of legal status, is entirely under the umbrella of Sichuan University. Peter Hessler, The New Yorker, 9 May 2022 Communities can establish mom groups where mothers can find support and understanding. Julie Bogen, The Atlantic, 9 May 2022 In recent weeks, Flynn’s social media account has attempted to more firmly establish his local bona fides, showing him knocking on doors in the district, visiting a Salem farmers market and touring the Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in Woodburn. oregonlive, 7 May 2022 Starting July 16, the FCC will establish 988 as an easy-to-remember three-digit dialing code for suicide prevention and mental health crises. Jacqueline Howard, CNN, 6 May 2022 To make this a viable business, the food company can establish a new product brand, focusing on the fact that the product is sustainably-grown. Anastasia Volkova, Forbes, 5 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'establish.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of establish

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for establish

Middle English establissen, from Anglo-French establiss-, stem of establir, from Latin stabilire, from stabilis stable

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Time Traveler for establish

Time Traveler

The first known use of establish was in the 14th century

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Statistics for establish

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Establish.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for establish


es·​tab·​lish | \ i-ˈsta-blish How to pronounce establish (audio) \
established; establishing

Kids Definition of establish

1 : to bring into being : found They established a colony.
2 : to put beyond doubt : prove She established her innocence.


transitive verb

Legal Definition of establish

1 : to institute (as a law) permanently by enactment or agreement we the people of the United States…do ordain and establish this ConstitutionU.S. Constitution preamble
2 : to make firm or stable
3 : to bring into existence : found Congress shall have power…to establish post offices and post roadsU.S. Constitution art. I specifically : to found (a national bank) pursuant to a charter
4 : to make (a church) a national or state institution — see also establishment, establishment clause
5 : to put beyond doubt : prove
6 : to place in a position of being accepted or followed a rule established by case law

More from Merriam-Webster on establish

Nglish: Translation of establish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of establish for Arabic Speakers


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