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

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Synonyms for establishment


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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web That same opposition from some in the Democratic establishment will likely serve as a key component of Turner’s viability, aiming to electrify voters in a city that’s been dominated by machine politics for decades. cleveland, "Nina Turner announces bid to succeed Marcia Fudge in Congress," 15 Dec. 2020 Some who have watched the situation unfold fault Schumer, and the Democratic establishment in California, for not having intervened before Feinstein ran for reëlection in 2018. Jane Mayer, The New Yorker, "Dianne Feinstein’s Missteps Raise a Painful Age Question Among Senate Democrats," 10 Dec. 2020 After initial major appointments went to centrists and pillars of the Democratic establishment, liberals are starting to leave their mark on President-elect Joe Biden’s evolving Cabinet. W. James Antle Iii, Washington Examiner, "Liberals start to get a seat at Biden’s table," 9 Dec. 2020 Progressive politicians, many of whom have challenged policies championed by Obama and the Democratic establishment, were quick to respond to the former president’s criticisms., "Obama Faces Intense Backlash For “Defund The Police” Comments," 3 Dec. 2020 That means resolving a subtle but clear debate within the Democratic establishment, one on which Mr. Biden has not yet chosen sides. David E. Sanger, New York Times, "Biden’s National Security Team Offers a Sharp Turn. But in Which Direction?," 24 Nov. 2020 The years Abrams and her allies spent convincing Black and brown voters in Georgia that their voices mattered—and her efforts to convince the Democratic establishment to pay attention those voters in the state—paid off this week. Emma Hinchliffe, Fortune, "How Stacey Abrams and other Georgia activists laid the groundwork for 2020," 6 Nov. 2020 But the white Democratic establishment decided to go with a conservative white woman over a progressive Black man. Ben Tobin, The Courier-Journal, "'Choosing whiteness': Social media users say Charles Booker could have beat McConnell," 4 Nov. 2020 Despite Trump’s sagging popularity, Republicans have not broken ranks with him and instead have tried to rally his most loyal supporters, who remain suspicious of these more traditional, establishment-friendly senators. Author: Paul Kane, Seung Min Kim, Anchorage Daily News, "GOP senators race to retain the majority," 31 Oct. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of establishment

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for establishment

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for establishment

Last Updated

21 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Establishment.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for establishment


How to pronounce establishment (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of establishment

: a place or organization where people live or do business
: the act of starting something that will last for a long time
: the act of causing something or someone to be widely known and accepted


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

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