in·​sti·​tu·​tion | \ ˌin(t)-stə-ˈtü-shən How to pronounce institution (audio) , -ˈtyü- \

Definition of institution

1a : an established organization or corporation (such as a bank or university) especially of a public character financial institutions
b : a facility or establishment in which people (such as the sick or needy) live and receive care typically in a confined setting and often without individual consent … the testator disinherited her siblings over their efforts to have her committed to a mental institution in the wake of several suicide attempts.— William M. McGovern Jr.
c : a significant practice, relationship, or organization in a society or culture the institution of marriage also : something or someone firmly associated with a place or thing she has become an institution in the theater
2 : an act of instituting : establishment

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Examples of institution in a Sentence

banks and other financial institutions an institution of higher learning Family visits are a Thanksgiving institution. She's not interested in the institution of marriage. The play has become something of an institution on Broadway. the institution of new rules and regulations
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Recent Examples on the Web Whether the institution threatening liberty is a government or corporate entity doesn’t change that. Andrew Stuttaford, National Review, 9 Oct. 2021 Per authorities, students at Timberview High School were all safely evacuated from the learning institution after the shooting and were taken to a reunification center to meet with loved ones. Nicholas Rice,, 7 Oct. 2021 Prior to Hayat joining as a founder, Rocambole raised €350,000 ($403,670) from the banking institution BPI France and several business angels. Elsa Keslassy, Variety, 6 Oct. 2021 Both Simien’s film and series focused on the bustling campus of Winchester University, a fictional institution that could easily have been inspired by any number of the elite universities located around the United States. Ineye Komonibo,, 29 Sep. 2021 The institution is one of the largest banks in the U.S. and an ongoing source of some difficult to differentiate apparent combination of misfeasance, nonfeasance, and malfeasance. Erik Sherman, Forbes, 28 Sep. 2021 Having released five new albums in the past four years, this American cultural institution is clearly eager to keep forging ahead. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Sep. 2021 Bohren considered whether Weier poses a danger based on the state Department of Health Services' conditional release program, reading several reports from the mental health institution. Steven Martinez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10 Sep. 2021 Yet insiders know that, here as elsewhere, the institution is perennially precarious. Bryan A. Garner, WSJ, 7 Sep. 2021

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

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First Known Use of institution

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for institution

Time Traveler

The first known use of institution was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

13 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Institution.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for institution



English Language Learners Definition of institution

: an established organization
: a place where an organization takes care of people for a usually long period of time
: a custom, practice, or law that is accepted and used by many people


in·​sti·​tu·​tion | \ ˌin-stə-ˈtü-shən How to pronounce institution (audio) , -ˈtyü- \

Kids Definition of institution

1 : the beginning or establishment of something the institution of new rules
2 : an established custom, practice, or law Turkey dinners are a Thanksgiving institution.
3 : an established organization business institutions


in·​sti·​tu·​tion | \ ˌin(t)-stə-ˈt(y)ü-shən How to pronounce institution (audio) \

Medical Definition of institution

: a facility or establishment in which people (such as the sick or needy) live and receive care typically in a confined setting and often without individual consent a mental institution

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Legal Definition of institution

1 : the act of instituting
2 : a significant practice, relationship, or organization in a society or culture the institution of marriage
3 : an established organization or corporation especially of a public character specifically : a facility for the treatment or training of persons with mental deficiencies

More from Merriam-Webster on institution

Nglish: Translation of institution for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of institution for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about institution


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