es·​tab·​lish·​ment | \ i-ˈsta-blish-mənt How to pronounce establishment (audio) \

Definition of establishment

1 : something established: such as
a : a settled arrangement especially : a code of laws
c : a permanent civil or military organization
d : a place of business or residence with its furnishings and staff
e : a public or private institution
2 : an established order of society: such as
a often capitalized : a group of social, economic, and political leaders who form a ruling class (as of a nation)
b often capitalized : a controlling group the literary establishment
3a : the act of establishing
b : the state of being established

Synonyms for establishment


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of establishment in a Sentence

the establishment of a business the establishment of a scientific fact His novels were disliked by the literary establishment.
Recent Examples on the Web Five months of strikes resulted in the establishment of the first ethnic studies department at SFSU. Washington Post, 5 May 2022 All the counters in the establishment were created using wood from an old bowling alley in Missouri. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 29 Apr. 2022 This idea has gained a grudging acceptance in the Washington establishment since the 2017 National Security Strategy and 2018 National Defense Strategy. A. Wess Mitchell, WSJ, 29 Apr. 2022 Her work resulted in the establishment of the state Department of Child Protective Services. Frederick N. Rasmussen, Baltimore Sun, 17 Apr. 2022 Apart from casting folks from the area, Netflix kept the group in one establishment to fully capture their experiences. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, 9 Apr. 2022 No one in that establishment would talk about her, but their silence said enough. Anita Chabria, Los Angeles Times, 5 Apr. 2022 Video surfaced online that April of Miller appearing to grab a woman by the throat and throwing her to the ground at the establishment. Nick Romano,, 29 Mar. 2022 Chinese critics of the war include academics with a foothold in the political establishment, like Mr. Hu, who are usually shielded from the worst pressure. Chris Buckley, New York Times, 18 Mar. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of establishment

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Learn More About establishment

Time Traveler for establishment

Time Traveler

The first known use of establishment was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near establishment

establishing shot



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for establishment

Last Updated

9 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Establishment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for establishment


es·​tab·​lish·​ment | \ i-ˈsta-blish-mənt How to pronounce establishment (audio) \

Kids Definition of establishment

1 : the act of founding or of proving
2 : a place where people live or do business



Legal Definition of establishment

1 : something established: as
a : a church recognized by law as the official church of a nation or state and supported by civil authority
b : a permanent civil or military organization
c : a place of residence or especially business with its furnishings and staff
2a : an act of establishing
b : the state of being established

More from Merriam-Webster on establishment

Nglish: Translation of establishment for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of establishment for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!