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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for establishment


joint, parlor, place, salon

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

There is no denying that income inequality and unaffordable housing are major concerns for many young people, as the pro-establishment camp likes to argue. The Economist, "Hong Kong can be a gateway to liberal values for China," 10 Sep. 2019 Michael Sambrooks, who owns The Pit Room, Sam's Fried Chicken & Donuts and 1751 Sea and Bar, is readying to introduce Houstonians to Candente, a Tex-Mex establishment in the former Cane Rosso space at 4306 Yoakum. Darla Guillen Gilthorpe, Houston Chronicle, "Seek out these hot, new & upcoming Tex-Mex and Mexican restaurants in Houston," 23 Aug. 2019 And the most authentic American pizza establishment in Bihar state is failing. Paul Salopek, National Geographic, "Why these workers from India miss wartime Afghanistan," 21 Aug. 2019 Protesters and pro-establishment groups have clashed violently. Anchorage Daily News, "Twitter, Facebook say China used fake accounts to sow discord in Hong Kong," 20 Aug. 2019 Since then, Artisan Ice has grown from a small establishment in the back of the Gladly to a full-fledged processing facility and warehouse. Ava Garcia, azcentral, "Everyone has a side hustle. These chefs are using theirs to change dining in Phoenix," 14 Aug. 2019 Hunter supporters have made her a martyr, saying she's being punished simply because an anti-establishment African-American Democratic woman won a seat in a local court system long dominated by white Republicans. Jason Williams,, "PX column: Tracie Hunter has no one to blame but herself for ending up in jail," 23 July 2019 There is a contingent within the Democratic party, and especially among Democratic primary voters, that is desperate to be the most progressive, the most annoyed, the most angry, the most anti-establishment. Nr Staff, National Review, "A Series of Own Goals," 13 July 2019 Perot's support was anti-establishment, very unconventional and grassroots. Major Garrett, CBS News, "Analysis: What's missing from the Ross Perot obituaries," 11 July 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.

See More

First Known Use of establishment

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about establishment

Statistics for establishment

Last Updated

14 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for establishment

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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 make a temporary encampment

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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