in·​sti·​tu·​tion·​al·​ism | \ ˌin(t)-stə-ˈt(y)ü-shnə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce institutionalism (audio) , -shə-nə-ˌli-zəm\

Definition of institutionalism

1 : emphasis on organization (as in religion) at the expense of other factors
2 : public institutional care of disabled, delinquent, or dependent persons
3 : an economic school of thought that emphasizes the role of social institutions in influencing economic behavior

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Other Words from institutionalism

institutionalist \ ˌin(t)-​stə-​ˈt(y)ü-​shnə-​list How to pronounce institutionalist (audio) , -​shə-​nə-​list \ noun

Examples of institutionalism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Promoting this ideology of anti-institutionalism and radical individualism was another way in which American intellectuals were attempting to break Americans away from European culture. Daniel Ross Goodman, National Review, "Walt Whitman, an American," 31 Aug. 2019 When Will and Tom visit a Veterans Affairs facility in an early scene, Ms. Granik visually underscores the building’s chilly institutionalism yet also reminds you of the people inside it. Debra Granik, New York Times, "Review: ‘Leave No Trace’ Is a Very American Story About Survival," 28 June 2018

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

First Known Use of institutionalism

1862, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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11 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for institutionalism

The first known use of institutionalism was in 1862

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Comments on institutionalism

What made you want to look up institutionalism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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