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


joint, parlor, place, salon

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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

One school has been the cradle of the French establishment for decades, grooming future presidents, prime ministers and chief executives. Noemie Bisserbe, WSJ, "Macron, a Star Graduate of France’s Elite School, Wants to Close Its Doors," 14 May 2019 Sontag would have loved seeing this outsider’s sensibility embraced in a temple of the establishment like the Metropolitan Museum. Benjamin Moser, Town & Country, "Why Susan Sontag Would Have Hated a Camp-Themed Met Gala," 5 May 2019 Additionally, Vice President Mike Pence announced this morning that President Trump plans to sign a directive related to the establishment of the Space Force — a new branch of the military — in the coming days. Loren Grush, The Verge, "Space Command is coming back, but Space Force still needs approval from Congress," 18 Dec. 2018 Such work could help lead to the establishment of a permanent human settlement on the moon in the not-too-distant future, company representatives have said. Mike Wall,, "Japanese Startup ispace to Launch Moon Lander Missions on SpaceX Rockets," 26 Sep. 2018 As a result, unlike the other elite who suffered from the turnout, Sadr’s party of newcomer candidates maintained its electoral base and Geagea’s party managed to snatch votes formerly given to the establishment Free Patriotic Movement. Renad Mansour, Washington Post, "An emerging populism is sweeping the Middle East," 11 July 2018 Three decades of British rule between the two world wars helped establish some of the fault lines of today’s Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and Britain’s withdrawal in 1948 led to the eventual establishment of Israel and Jordan. Aron Heller,, "Prince William to meet Israeli leaders on historic royal visit," 25 June 2018 At the time, food culture was firmly about the experience in the dining room, with a side detour for the accomplished chef lending a name to the establishment. Alexis Sobel Fitts, WIRED, "Without Anthony Bourdain, Food Instagram Culture Wouldn't Exist," 8 June 2018 Bush, Vilela, and Swearengin all came up short in their efforts to unseat establishment Dems, but their stories are an essential part of looking at a midterm cycle that included historic numbers of women and women of color running and winning. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Netflix's AOC Documentary, “Knock Down the House,” Might Make You Want to Riot," 1 May 2019

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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Statistics for establishment

Last Updated

8 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for establishment

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

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More Definitions for establishment



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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Comments on establishment

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


standardized text or formulaic language

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