establish

verb

es·​tab·​lish i-ˈsta-blish How to pronounce establish (audio)
established; establishing; establishes

transitive verb

1
: to institute (something, such as a law) permanently by enactment or agreement
2
obsolete : settle sense 7
3
a
: to make firm or stable
b
: to introduce and cause to grow and multiply
establish grass on pasturelands
4
a
: to bring into existence : found
established a republic
b
: bring about, effect
established friendly relations
5
a
: to put on a firm basis : set up
establish his son in business
b
: to put into a favorable position
c
: to gain full recognition or acceptance of
the role established her as a star
6
: to make (a church) a national or state institution
7
: to put beyond doubt : prove
established my innocence
establishable adjective
establisher noun

Example Sentences

The film established her as a star. She established a reputation as a hard worker. The word is now established as part of the English language. The company has established itself as a leader in the industry. As a young doctor he worked hard to establish himself in the community. They want to establish their children in the family business. She established a system of tracking expenses more accurately. The two countries established a mutual trade agreement. establishing a link between diet and cancer Investigators are trying to establish if anyone knew about these problems before the accident. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Snider’s involvement in the venture is one of many surprising pieces of trivia that establish the contributions of Banerjee’s club, aside from that unfortunate series of hunk-of-the-month calendars. Lorraine Ali, Los Angeles Times, 22 Nov. 2022 As most of us prepare to fill plates to the edge and establish mailing addresses on the nearest available couch, a pair of San Diego doctors offer a fit and friendly reminder. Bryce Millercolumnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Nov. 2022 The Post examined financial records, depositions and other documents from the court cases to trace the flows of money around Free Speech Systems and establish the ownership of the other companies that were involved. Jonathan O'connell, Washington Post, 21 Nov. 2022 The Post examined financial records, depositions and other documents from the court cases to trace the flows of money around Free Speech Systems and establish the ownership of the other companies that were involved. Jonathan O'connell, Anchorage Daily News, 21 Nov. 2022 The offensive players and coaches expressed faith that the new, streamlined offense would eventually find its way, that the passing attack would establish some consistency. Nicole Yang, BostonGlobe.com, 20 Nov. 2022 Congress is considering offering tax credits for employers to establish retirement plans and reducing the cost of plan administration for small businesses and nonprofits. J. Michael Collins, Journal Sentinel, 20 Nov. 2022 In those filings, FTX asked for permission to pay outside vendors, consolidate bank accounts, and establish new ones. NBC News, 19 Nov. 2022 Following a meeting with Kenyan President William Ruto, Gates said on Wednesday that the Foundation would establish a regional office in Nairobi. Reuters, CNN, 18 Nov. 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Middle English establissen, from Anglo-French establiss-, stem of establir, from Latin stabilire, from stabilis stable

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of establish was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near establish

Cite this Entry

“Establish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/establish. Accessed 29 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

establish

verb

es·​tab·​lish is-ˈtab-lish How to pronounce establish (audio)
1
: to make a permanent part of a nation's laws
establish a constitution
2
: to make firm or stable
establish a statue on its base
3
a
: to bring into existence : found
establish a republic
establish a school
b
: to cause to exist
establish good relations
establish radio contact
4
: to set on a firm basis
establish their children in business
5
: to gain full recognition or acceptance of
establish a claim
a film that established her as a star
established his innocence
6
: prove
7
: find out sense 1
establish the cause of the fire
establisher noun

Legal Definition

establish

transitive verb

es·​tab·​lish
1
: to institute (as a law) permanently by enactment or agreement
we the people of the United States…do ordain and establish this Constitution U.S. Constitution preamble
2
: to make firm or stable
3
: to bring into existence : found
Congress shall have power…to establish post offices and post roads U.S. Constitution art. I
specifically : to found (a national bank) pursuant to a charter
4
: to make (a church) a national or state institution see also establishment, establishment clause
5
: to put beyond doubt : prove
6
: to place in a position of being accepted or followed
a rule established by case law

More from Merriam-Webster on establish

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