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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from institutionalism

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

Examples of institutionalism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In the critics’ view, the previous Justice Department wasn’t normal, so deference to its debatable decisions amounts to a perversion of justice masquerading as institutionalism. David Montgomery, Washington Post, 19 July 2021 In the space of a few short years, its leadership has pinged from neoliberalism to radical libertarianism to minoritarian institutionalism to authoritarian nationalism, hauling the conservative citizens of Sterling Heights along in their wake. Benjamin Wallace-wells, The New Yorker, 31 Dec. 2020 Wanting better leaders never goes out of style, but the series’s reverent institutionalism now seems much more remote. James Poniewozik, New York Times, 16 Oct. 2020 Harris chalks much of this bias up to institutionalism. Alex Shephard, The New Republic, 8 Nov. 2019 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, 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, 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.

See More

First Known Use of institutionalism

1862, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About institutionalism

Time Traveler for institutionalism

Time Traveler

The first known use of institutionalism was in 1862

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near institutionalism




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for institutionalism

Cite this Entry

“Institutionalism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on institutionalism Encyclopedia article about institutionalism


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

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!