es·​tab·​lish·​ment | \ i-ˈsta-blish-mənt \

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

Another caveat is that realizing these changes will require investments in public infrastructure and the establishment and enforcement of regulations, and these measures can be almost as difficult to effect as eating less meat. Diana Gitig, Ars Technica, "A roadmap to agriculture that’s sustainable and climate-neutral," 15 Oct. 2018 The white mistress served as both the owner of an establishment and manager of her own workers... Jenn M. Jackson, Teen Vogue, "Black Women's Labor in America Has Always Been Exploited," 7 Aug. 2018 Over the past few months, the defense establishment and several international agencies have been working on several plans to alleviate the dire situation in the coastal enclave. Jewish Journal, "Palestinian Authority outraged as White House says it will push regional peace plan," 10 July 2018 Then someone Pressley counts as a friend — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — stunned the New York Democratic establishment, and the nation, with her primary victory last month over 10-term U.S. Rep. Joe Crowley. Washington Post, "After New York’s electoral upset, eyes turn to Massachusetts," 8 July 2018 At the AIA Conference on Architecture—the profession’s annual convention held this year in New York from June 22 to 23—both the establishment and progressive professional groups called for radical change. Diana Budds, Curbed, "#MeToo hit architecture. Now what?," 5 July 2018 South Carolina doesn't have a dram shop law or social-host liability statute, but the state courts do allow victims to seek damages from establishments and individuals who overserve alcohol to drivers. Kathleen Purvis And Myah Ward, charlotteobserver, "Here's what you need to know about drunk driving in the Carolinas," 29 June 2018 In December, the City Council unanimously approved an ordinance that allows most craft beer establishments and wineries in industrial and mixed-use zones without a conditional-use permit. David Hernandez,, "National City looks to attract breweries south of the border," 28 June 2018 In another amendment the council voted to simplify the way in which distances are measured between body art establishments and residential communities, alcohol sales, and other body art businesses. Karen Huppertz, ajc, "Sugar Hill revises guidelines for body art establishments," 18 June 2018

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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Last Updated

19 Jan 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


es·​tab·​lish·​ment | \ i-ˈsta-blish-mənt \

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).


to gather or build up little by little

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  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
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