in·​sti·​tute | \ ˈin(t)-stə-ˌtüt How to pronounce institute (audio) , -ˌtyüt \

Definition of institute

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: something that is instituted: such as
a : an organization for the promotion of a cause : association a research institute an institute for the blind
b : an educational institution and especially one devoted to technical fields
c : a usually brief intensive course of instruction on selected topics relating to a particular field an urban studies institute
d(1) : an elementary principle recognized as authoritative
(2) institutes plural : a collection of such principles and precepts especially : a legal compendium


instituted; instituting

Definition of institute (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to originate and get established : organize
b : to set going : inaugurate instituting an investigation
2 : to establish in a position or office

Other Words from institute


instituter or institutor \ ˈin(t)-​stə-​ˌtü-​tər How to pronounce institute (audio) , -​ˌtyü-​ \ noun

Examples of institute in a Sentence

Noun They founded an institute for research into the causes of mental illness. the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Verb By instituting these programs, we hope to improve our children's education. They have instituted new policies to increase public safety.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Joshua Wyner, executive director of the institute’s college excellence program, said selective schools ought to do more. Washington Post, 5 May 2022 That bar may now be gone, but the hotel maintains a relationship with the institute, and guests can go through it to purchase bottles of their favorite wines during their stay. Ann Abel, Forbes, 5 May 2022 That’s the largest amount recorded for those months since the institute began monitoring deforestation rates in 2016. Karol Suarez, CNN, 4 May 2022 The institute also has received a lot of praise for its insights about COVID-19. San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 May 2022 The research institute’s survey was a microscopic version of the annual count in which thousands of volunteers search street by street over vast stretches of Los Angeles County for signs of homelessness. Benjamin Oreskes, Los Angeles Times, 4 May 2022 Beyond stabilizing the institute financially, Thompson sought of right the ship in three areas. Roy S. Johnson |, al, 4 May 2022 Peter Wolfgang, the institute’s longtime executive director, released a statement that hailed the decision. Christopher Keating, Hartford Courant, 3 May 2022 The starry event is the institute’s primary budget feeder. Leanne Italie, Chicago Tribune, 2 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Finnair is the latest carrier to institute such a ban. Karen Pallarito,, 16 Sep. 2021 To institute a blanket ban on mask mandates disregards the needs of individual school districts, Tucker said. Alia Wong, USA TODAY, 29 Aug. 2021 Those concerns were exacerbated by allegations that Airbnb rentals were being used for parties that ran afoul of public health guidance during the pandemic, leading the company to institute a ban on gatherings of more than 16 people at its rentals. Washington Post, 15 June 2021 Indiana Dunes National Park is one that will institute an entry fee for the first time this year, beginning March 31. Forrest Brown, CNN, 22 Mar. 2022 Austria from February will institute a monthly fine on people who do not take up the offer of a vaccine. Guy Davies, ABC News, 28 Dec. 2021 Popovich might even institute new drills aimed at defending shooters 40 feet from the basket. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, 5 Dec. 2021 Over the summer, the City Council didn’t just institute new rules prohibiting homeless encampments. Los Angeles Times, 3 Nov. 2021 Baseball did not institute a pitch clock, which has been tried out in the minor leagues for several years, but don't be surprised if that becomes reality in 2023. Mark Faller, The Arizona Republic, 5 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of institute


1546, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for institute


Middle English, from Latin institutus, past participle of instituere, from in- + statuere to set up — more at statute

Learn More About institute

Time Traveler for institute

Time Traveler

The first known use of institute was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near institute




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for institute

Last Updated

9 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Institute.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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

More Definitions for institute


in·​sti·​tute | \ ˈin-stə-ˌtüt How to pronounce institute (audio) , -ˌtyüt \
instituted; instituting

Kids Definition of institute

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to begin or establish The library instituted new rules.
2 : to give a start to Police instituted an investigation.



Kids Definition of institute (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an organization for the promotion of a cause an institute for scientific research
2 : a place for study usually in a special field an art institute


transitive verb
instituted; instituting

Legal Definition of institute

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to establish in a particular position or office specifically, in the civil law of Louisiana : to appoint as heir — see also instituted heir at heir
2 : to get started : bring institute a lawsuit



Legal Definition of institute (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an elementary principle recognized as authoritative
2 plural : a collection of principles especially : a legal compendium

More from Merriam-Webster on institute

Nglish: Translation of institute for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of institute for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Color

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

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!