institutionalize

verb

in·​sti·​tu·​tion·​al·​ize ˌin(t)-stə-ˈt(y)ü-sh(ə-)nə-ˌlīz How to pronounce institutionalize (audio)
institutionalized; institutionalizing

transitive verb

1
: to make into an institution : give character of an institution to
especially : to incorporate into a structured and often highly formalized system
… he has tried to institutionalize the bank's practices so that it can carry on when he no longer leads it. Bruce Shenitz
In 2005, The New York Times revealed a set of NSA surveillance programs that, though considered shocking at the time, have since been institutionalized. David Brown
2
: to place in or commit to the care of a specialized institution (such as a psychiatric hospital)
Thirty years ago doctors routinely advised parents to institutionalize children with Down syndrome and other disabilities … Parenting

Example Sentences

It will take time to institutionalize these reforms. They had to institutionalize their youngest son. She was institutionalized for seven years.
Recent Examples on the Web In essence, the public sector needs to institutionalize mechanisms for the private sector to participate in order to achieve a more balanced ratio for green financing. Kundan Pandey, Quartz, 22 Oct. 2022 Second, follow-up efforts to institutionalize that scheme are now underway. Laurence H. Tribe And Dennis Aftergut, CNN, 20 June 2022 Be sure to institutionalize the brand across all your HR and operations functions, not just the marketing. Jim Heininger, Forbes, 15 July 2022 Some bills equip partisan officials to interfere in local certification processes and institutionalize the kind of pressure that Trump placed on local GOP officials in Georgia to steal victory in November. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 29 June 2021 Russia's taking to attempt to institutionalize control over sovereign Ukrainian territory, particularly in Ukraine's Kherson region. Taylor Wilson, USA TODAY, 1 June 2022 To establish a best practice for the collection of knowledge from everyday exchanges, organizations can turn to tools to institutionalize knowledge capture in a way that’s easy to re-use. Antti Nivala, Forbes, 3 May 2022 In 2017, the organization’s Council of Ministers directed all member countries to come up with national language policies to institutionalize Kiswahili as one of the official languages of the East African Community. Edna Namara, Quartz, 19 May 2022 To that point, parents whose children had intellectual impairments were encouraged to institutionalize them, and the children were often kept secret or secluded at home. Kate Santich, Orlando Sentinel, 22 Apr. 2022 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1865, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of institutionalize was in 1865

Dictionary Entries Near institutionalize

Cite this Entry

“Institutionalize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/institutionalize. Accessed 7 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

institutionalize

verb
in·​sti·​tu·​tion·​al·​ize ˌin(t)-stə-ˈt(y)ü-shnə-ˌlīz How to pronounce institutionalize (audio)
-shən-ᵊl-ˌīz
institutionalized; institutionalizing
1
: to make into or treat like an institution
institutionalized housing
2
: to put into an institution

Medical Definition

institutionalize

transitive verb
in·​sti·​tu·​tion·​al·​ize
variants or chiefly British institutionalise
institutionalized or chiefly British institutionalised; institutionalizing or chiefly British institutionalising
: to place in or commit to the care of a specialized institution
Thirty years ago doctors routinely advised parents to institutionalize children with Down syndrome and other disabilities … Parenting
institutionalization noun
or chiefly British institutionalisation

Legal Definition

institutionalize

transitive verb
in·​sti·​tu·​tion·​al·​ize ˌin-stə-ˈtü-shə-nə-ˌlīz, -ˈtyü- How to pronounce institutionalize (audio)
institutionalized; institutionalizing
: to put in the care of an institution compare commit

More from Merriam-Webster on institutionalize

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