in·​sti·​tu·​tion·​al·​ism ˌin(t)-stə-ˈt(y)ü-sh(ə-)nə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce institutionalism (audio)
: emphasis on organization (as in religion) at the expense of other factors
: public institutional care of disabled, delinquent, or dependent persons
: an economic school of thought that emphasizes the role of social institutions in influencing economic behavior

Examples of institutionalism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The story also doesn’t skip over the darker aspects of the movement: a death, physical attacks, the jailing of Paul’s team, hunger strikes, force feeding, and threats of psychiatric institutionalism. Frank Rizzo, Variety, 19 Apr. 2024 Jordan’s holdouts, on the other hand, fit a much different mold—an ideologically diverse group of Republicans with a yen for institutionalism. Grace Segers, The New Republic, 19 Oct. 2023 In this view, the institutionalism and proceduralism of Obama’s imagination, and his reluctance to engage in anything disruptive, failed to win over his enemies, who were only further enraged by his imperturbability, and left in ascendancy his most malign adversary. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, 6 Nov. 2023 Yeah, maybe institutionalism can actually bring a level of clarity and rationality to our Supreme Court. How To Save A Country, The New Republic, 15 June 2023 That was just an example, though, of the rigid institutionalism of Garland's Justice Department that's brought a reluctance to undo decisions made by his corrupt predecessor, William Barr, as if the preceding four years of lawlessness had been a mirage. Will Bunch, Star Tribune, 26 July 2021 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s new openness to liberal priorities such as eliminating the legislative filibuster and packing the Supreme Court raise fresh questions about how durable his centrism and institutionalism will be once under pressure from his left flank on Capitol Hill. W. James Antle Iii, Washington Examiner, 21 Oct. 2020 Did Greene actually bend toward institutionalism, or did the institution relent? Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 11 Jan. 2023 What has been on display is a perfect storm of misjudgment and anti-institutionalism. Dan Balz, Anchorage Daily News, 5 Jan. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'institutionalism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1862, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of institutionalism was in 1862

Dictionary Entries Near institutionalism

Cite this Entry

“Institutionalism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Jun. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on institutionalism

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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