in·sti·tu·tion | \ ˌin(t)-stə-ˈtü-shən , -ˈtyü- \

Definition of institution 

1 : an act of instituting : establishment

2a : a significant practice, relationship, or organization in a society or culture the institution of marriage also : something or someone firmly associated with a place or thing she has become an institution in the theater

b : an established organization or corporation (such as a bank or university) especially of a public character financial institutions

c : a facility or establishment in which people (such as the sick or needy) live and receive care typically in a confined setting and often without individual consent … the testator disinherited her siblings over their efforts to have her committed to a mental institution in the wake of several suicide attempts. —William M. McGovern Jr.

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Examples of institution in a Sentence

banks and other financial institutions an institution of higher learning Family visits are a Thanksgiving institution. She's not interested in the institution of marriage. The play has become something of an institution on Broadway. the institution of new rules and regulations
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Recent Examples on the Web

The documentary was produced by the Free Press in collaboration with Bridge Magazine, WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) and a group of metro Detroit cultural institutions, led by the Detroit Institute of Arts. Detroit Free Press, "For the 51st anniversary of rebellion, a free screening of '12th and Clairmount'," 13 July 2018 Jen Pelka is the tour de force behind San Francisco’s hit institution, the Riddler—a Champagne lounge-bar located in the Hayes Valley district. Madeleine Luckel, Vogue, "A Champagne Lover’s Guide to Hosting a Last-Minute Bastille Day Soirée," 13 July 2018 The work, published in Nature Geoscience, was led by Lloyd Keigwin of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution along with researchers at that institution, Scripps and Oregon State University. Christopher Mooney,, "Scientists may have solved a huge riddle that led to more than 1,000 years of cold on Earth. It doesn’t bode well," 12 July 2018 Bitcoin and other virtual currencies, which are not issued by governments and can be directly exchanged from person to person without going through banks or other regulated institutions, are a preferred payment method for dark-web transactions. James Rufus Koren,, "'Bitcoin Maven' sentenced to a year in prison for money laundering," 10 July 2018 Businesses, institutions, public agencies, landscapers, and home gardeners are eligible. Staff Report, Post-Tribune, "Community news," 6 July 2018 Firstly, that the priority after the Shoah was rightly to rebuild Jewish life, communities and institutions, as well as a new Jewish state. Howard Blas,, "The worldwide work of saving cemeteries and honoring the Jewish dead," 19 June 2018 Don’t miss: The fabulous decor, inspired by great San Francisco institutions past, meets 420 tech with the first-ever full quartz dab bar in San Francisco. Emma Silvers, San Francisco Chronicle, "Your guide to the best bars to hit on Pride weekend," 14 June 2018 In the other direction, contacts at health care organizations, academic institutions, and nursing associations do not promote nurses as subjects for stories on health and health care or sources for them. Carole R. Myers, STAT, "Nurses play vital roles in health care. Why are they invisible in the media?," 13 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'institution.' 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 institution

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

9 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for institution

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

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English Language Learners Definition of institution

: an established organization

: a place where an organization takes care of people for a usually long period of time

: a custom, practice, or law that is accepted and used by many people


in·sti·tu·tion | \ ˌin-stə-ˈtü-shən , -ˈtyü- \

Kids Definition of institution

1 : the beginning or establishment of something the institution of new rules

2 : an established custom, practice, or law Turkey dinners are a Thanksgiving institution.

3 : an established organization business institutions


in·sti·tu·tion | \ ˌin(t)-stə-ˈt(y)ü-shən \

Medical Definition of institution 

: a facility or establishment in which people (such as the sick or needy) live and receive care typically in a confined setting and often without individual consent a mental institution

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Legal Definition of institution 

1 : the act of instituting

2 : a significant practice, relationship, or organization in a society or culture the institution of marriage

3 : an established organization or corporation especially of a public character specifically : a facility for the treatment or training of persons with mental deficiencies

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