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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web With the threat posed to law enforcement and the Constitution on Jan. 6, Ms. Cheney’s institutionalism kicked in and drove her down the path of political defeat. WSJ, 22 Aug. 2022 Both also faced significant criticism from people who saw their institutionalism as an overly optimistic analysis of the problems facing society. Nicole Hemmer, CNN, 3 June 2022 Only then, when all Biden's appeals to institutionalism — Congress! W. James Antle Iii, The Week, 4 Aug. 2021 Biden has argued that only his moderation, his experience, and his institutionalism can relieve the country’s crises. Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, 22 Dec. 2021 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 See More

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.

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 5 Dec. 2022.

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