es·tab·lish | \i-ˈsta-blish \
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

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Other Words from establish

establishable \i-ˈsta-bli-shə-bəl \ adjective
establisher \i-ˈsta-bli-shər \ noun

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

In 2004, Seminole voters approved a ballot measure that established a strict rural boundary mostly east of the Econ, Oviedo and Lake Jesup. Martin E. Comas,, "East Seminole residents express relief after board rejects rural development but ready for future battles," 13 July 2018 Rico would arrive with a significant level of culture and technical pedigree which would surely establish the Spaniard as first choice next term, should Bournemouth complete a deal with Leganes., "Bournemouth Switch Attention to Leganes Full Back as Cherries Baulk at Kieran Tierney Asking Price," 13 July 2018 Wesley Wilson has established an atmosphere where goals and dreams, often kept quiet in the workplace, are shared freely and are supported. NBC News, "Be proactive and step out of your comfort zone:," 13 July 2018 The company has delivered 200,000 electric cars to buyers in the United States, which means it's reached the tax credit threshold established under the Republican tax plan that passed last year. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: Scott Pruitt is still under investigation by EPA watchdog," 13 July 2018 Michael Jordan Flight School, as our camp was called, promised daily appearances from the great man himself, who had established the program a couple of years earlier. Angelica Baker, Vogue, "Going One-on-One with Greatness at Michael Jordan’s Summer Camp," 13 July 2018 Obvious examples of the fighting Burk mentions are the American Revolution — the war against Britain that first established the U.S. as its own country — and the War of 1812. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "The 'Special Relationship' Between the U.S. and U.K. Is Unlike Any Other Alliance. Here's How It Got That Way," 13 July 2018 For some of them, the move to the United States was recent, while others are more established here. Billboard, "The Down Underdogs: Australian Alternative Artists on Making it Big in America and at Home," 13 July 2018 Phase 3 of the rebate program allotted $12,500 for the purchase of 250 more cameras, with the stipulation that for the first 40 days, residents would be required to participate in or establish a neighborhood watch group. Sara Cardine,, "Phase 3 of city’s video doorbell rebate program opens up to public at large," 12 July 2018

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.

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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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Phrases Related to establish

established order

Statistics for establish

Last Updated

25 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for establish

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

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More Definitions for establish



English Language Learners Definition of establish

: to cause (someone or something) to be widely known and accepted

: to put (someone or something) in a position, role, etc., that will last for a long time

: to begin or create (something that is meant to last for a long time)


es·tab·lish | \i-ˈsta-blish \
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

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Comments on establish

What made you want to look up establish? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a state of commotion or excitement

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