Definition of institution in English:



  • 1An organization founded for a religious, educational, professional, or social purpose.

    ‘an academic institution’
    ‘a certificate from a professional institution’
    • ‘The education system, religious organisations and other social institutions also have a responsibility here.’
    • ‘Any slack can be taken up by the private sector, philanthropy and especially religious institutions that teach social values grounded in faith.’
    • ‘In India, these are used by a number of voluntary organisations and educational institutions to convey social and environmental related messages.’
    • ‘Under these conditions, there will be nothing left to invest in the ailing public cultural, educational and social institutions.’
    • ‘For this purpose new educational institutions are cropping up everywhere.’
    • ‘This includes venues such as seminars in their own departments, at other academic institutions and at professional meetings.’
    • ‘But other religious educational institutions also face the same problems.’
    • ‘There are controversies regarding the curriculum and the authorities of the religious educational institutions.’
    • ‘There were laws that forbade social interaction between the races, including the segregation of all educational and religious institutions.’
    • ‘The club's volunteers have been highlighting domestic safety and evacuation drills, mainly in educational institutions and social organisations.’
    • ‘The new immigrants were cared for in large measure by their own religion-based social welfare institutions.’
    • ‘It is not easy to get persons to think on their own behalf when educational and other social institutions seem to require otherwise.’
    • ‘In higher education the universities were supplemented by purely technological or professional institutions.’
    • ‘Shermer argues that religion is a social institution resulting from evolutionary development for the purpose of promoting myths and encouraging altruism.’
    • ‘Self-financing professional educational institutions are a challenge to ethical and social values.’
    • ‘Status rewards can flow from a variety of institutions including academic, professional, sporting and artistic bodies.’
    • ‘He lectured at many professional and academic institutions world-wide.’
    • ‘Academic institutions and professional societies would maintain a posture of organizational neutrality.’
    • ‘A wide range of educational institutions ranging from kindergarten schools to the professional colleges have come into being.’
    • ‘One measure of the maturity and the health of professional military institutions is their published formal doctrine.’
    organization, establishment, institute, foundation, centre
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 An organization providing residential care for people with special needs.
      ‘about 5 per cent of elderly people live in institutions’
      • ‘Canada's changing face is most apparent in our health and long-term care institutions.’
      • ‘We also looked at dedicated smoking rooms in hospital care institutions, residential disability care institutions, and rest homes.’
      • ‘Teach them how to live in the world outside the institution and take care of themselves or live in an environment with supervision.’
      • ‘Clearly, the findings reinforce the need for providing specialized holistic geriatric care at institutions and homes for the elderly.’
      • ‘Next, the state allocates portions of the global mental health care budget to institutions, community programs and the fee-for-service sector.’
      • ‘Almost all outbreaks occurred in hospitals, residential care institutions and nursing homes and resulted in elective surgery being cancelled in several instances.’
      • ‘Cathriona is travelling to Romania in July and will bring all monies raised with her to buy food, clothes and medicines for the residents of the psychiatric institutions.’
      • ‘With urbanization, specialized institutions emerged to care for the dependent and ill.’
      • ‘If you have ever been abused in a residential institution, you may be entitled to compensation.’
      • ‘The deal saw the religious orders contribute just under 150 to the compensation fund for victims of abuse in residential institutions.’
      • ‘She believes she is the victim of a smear campaign by former inmates of residential institutions.’
      • ‘They cared for him as best as they were able, despite constant chiding from family, friends, and doctors to put him in an institution that specialized in caring for children like him.’
      • ‘In the past fortnight alone, venture capitalists have spent more than £700m buying chains of nursing homes and specialist care institutions.’
      • ‘A number of those participating live in residential institutions so for them it the day out is the only outside event they enjoy throughout the year.’
      • ‘The temptation to assume them is especially strong in chronic care institutions, which tend toward total properties.’
      • ‘With the ageing of our population it would not be possible from a financial perspective to support and care for everybody who was in need of care in institutions.’
      • ‘If no, then why are children with mental disorders dumped in the care of specialised institutions?’
      • ‘A high level of discipline and organisation was regarded as very necessary for a residential institution catering for upwards of 800 boys.’
      • ‘The volunteers participated in special projects at multiple institutions that care for children with special needs and orphans.’
      • ‘The very institutions Britons trust to care for their health when they are ill or elderly are systematically starving them.’
      home, residential care organization
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 An established official organization having an important role in a society, such as the Church or parliament.
      ‘the institutions of democratic government’
      • ‘And for such an important institution in our society, this is a big deal.’
      • ‘Official institutions, like the church, remained undeveloped and weak.’
      • ‘The church is one of the very few social institutions with the specific purpose of moral action.’
      • ‘Evidence of the malaise now afflicting the established institutions in our society is all around, from parliament and the police to the monarchy and the churches.’
      • ‘The authority lies with governments and other important institutions of society.’
      • ‘Parliament is the institution that embodies society in the diversity of its composition and its opinions and which channels this diversity into the political process.’
      • ‘This was in the light of the implications that would flow for Parliament itself as an institution (the role of MPs in particular) in holding the executive to account.’
      • ‘The right, the economic elite, and the Catholic church were three powerful institutions in Chilean society at that time.’
      • ‘Substance abusers may be particularly likely to be disenfranchised from key societal institutions including the church.’
      • ‘I thank them all for their commitment to the people they serve and to our democratic institution, this Parliament.’
      • ‘It relates to important institutions in our society.’
      • ‘In this sense, churches were institutions in civil society.’
      • ‘The Catholic principle of subsidiarity affirms an important role for the state, but also a crucial role for other societal institutions.’
      • ‘Destruction this profound and widespread - and for such a long period - must alter other important institutions in the society.’
      • ‘I think trusting one of the most important institutions in a free society - the media - to the benevolence of billionaires is pretty dodgy.’
      • ‘The failure of all of the official institutions of American society in the disaster is rooted in the failure of the profit system itself.’
      • ‘It is about establishing the institutions of a free society.’
      • ‘The wealth accrued by some churches made them powerful institutions and thus important political players.’
      • ‘How does this impact the organization of other institutions in society, like church, extended family, civic associations, and ideological movements?’
      • ‘By that he meant trying to establish institutions of democratic government and civil society.’
    3. 1.3 A large company or other organization involved in financial trading.
      ‘City institutions’
      • ‘Major credit cards vary in how they compute this rate, but it's usually much higher than what a financial institution would charge for a loan.’
      • ‘Several foreign financial institutions have since then been scouting Taiwan for potential partners.’
      • ‘For Bosch and many big professional investment institutions, good governance adds to the bottom line of creating shareholder wealth.’
      • ‘Little can be done to rein in personal borrowing as interest rates the only way to curb lending by financial institutions are set by the European Central Bank.’
      • ‘Are there any financial institutions that will lend me the $30,000 I need to get started?’
      • ‘Uneven distribution of the religious revenues transformed a segment of clerics into entrepreneurs who purchased real estate and invested in other financial institutions.’
      • ‘It follows that from a purely economic point of view there is no magic distinction between the activities of a bank and those of other financial or lending institutions.’
      • ‘Financial institutions and professional service E&O insurance prices are skyrocketing.’
      • ‘However, its critics have highlighted the scheme's inability to cap possible charges imposed by financial institutions on the new accounts.’
      • ‘When the euro was introduced as a virtual currency in January 1999, financial institutions reviewed their charges.’
      • ‘That the large financial institutions, which invest the insurance funds, have been able to provide finance for all comers.’
      • ‘Consumers will be able to compare rates with financial institutions across the EU when looking for a personal loan under new laws drawn up yesterday.’
      • ‘Eavesdropping can also be a problem in commercial buildings where financial institutions are housed.’
      • ‘The regional banks would also hold the reserves of financial institutions in their region, permitting a concerted response to any crisis.’
      • ‘The government will also forbid new bank loans in pesos, and insist financial institutions lend only in dollars.’
      • ‘Revenue officials have confirmed that they take no part whatsoever in the setting of interest rates offered by financial institutions.’
      • ‘It is important that first-time buyers look at their other outgoings before applying for a mortgage, as any other borrowings may impact on the amount a financial institution is prepared to lend.’
      • ‘High domestic savings encouraged financial institutions to lend beyond the limits of prudence.’
      • ‘It needs financial institutions that can recycle savings and create credit to stimulate new investment of all sorts.’
      • ‘The improved economic conditions will encourage lending by financial institutions.’
      company, firm, business, concern, operation, agency, office, bureau, house, guild, organization, trust, partnership, federation, conglomerate, consortium, syndicate, group, chain, combine, multiple, multinational
      View synonyms
  • 2An established law or practice.

    ‘the institution of marriage’
    • ‘After all, social institutions, including religion, politics, and science, would need to adapt to such a development.’
    • ‘Should we adopt Scandinavia's style of socio-economic policy, reducing our commitment to the institution of marriage and improving our commitment to parenthood?’
    • ‘Amish communities routinely practice the institution of rumspringa (from the German herumspringen, to jump around).’
    • ‘In these relationships, Michell portrays the ugliness in the institution of marriage and the establishment of family.’
    • ‘To our lights, so was the idea that the institution of marriage was in jeopardy.’
    • ‘Religion as a social institution is not identical with a deeper spiritual life and even can prosper for a time when such a life is lacking.’
    • ‘Religion remained one of the most important of institutions in American civil society.’
    • ‘The same point can be made on a much bigger scale if we consider a social institution such as religion.’
    • ‘We learn that neither a convent nor the institution of marriage would be likely to provide the kind of safety required from the invading French.’
    • ‘No fewer than 19 states in the United States of America have also passed similar legislation to safeguard the institution of marriage.’
    • ‘Our government should respect every person and protect the institution of marriage.’
    • ‘Romantic notions aside, I believe the institution of marriage is a fundamentally practical one that does not even require love.’
    • ‘Marriage was initially a social institution to strengthen the alliance between families.’
    • ‘Thus, just as in the American South, Cherokee lawmakers would prohibit legal marriages between slaves and free people to preserve the institution of slavery.’
    • ‘While Alice loves her children, the institution of slavery constricts and circumscribes her love for them.’
    • ‘Undoubtedly the fact that the institution of slavery froze billions of dollars of capital into human beings was of great importance in maintaining this way of life.’
    • ‘Religion is a social institution and, as such, is characterised by all of the conflicts that have marked the history of our society.’
    • ‘Marriage is primarily a social institution, not a religious one.’
    • ‘As a matter of law, the institution of ‘marriage’ is itself the product, the creation, of the exercise of state power.’
    • ‘I very much believe that the decline of Christian values means we are a less tolerant and respectful society and that important institutions such as the family have suffered as a result.’
    practice, custom, phenomenon, fact, procedure, convention, usage, tradition, rite, ritual, fashion, use, habit, wont
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1informal A well-established and familiar person or custom.
      ‘he soon became something of a national institution’
      • ‘Dress codes are a British institution, and the British love their uniforms.’
      • ‘she is now considered as something of a "national institution".’
      • ‘Twenty-four years since he escaped death-by-civil-service in an employment office in Tooting, Merton, 47, is a bona fide British institution.’
      custom, practice, convention, ritual, ceremony, observance, wont, routine, way, rule, usage, habit
      View synonyms
  • 3mass noun The action of instituting something.

    ‘a delay in the institution of proceedings’
    • ‘What will the institution of a practice doctorate do to that trend?’
    • ‘A central feature of the new legislation, in contrast, is the institution of a permit system granting water rights for 20 years.’
    • ‘First of all, your Honour, we say this was not at the time of institution of these proceedings an inappropriate forum.’
    • ‘I do not believe there is a finding that institution of proceedings on one occasion made them troublesome tenants.’
    installation, instatement, induction, investiture, inauguration, introduction, swearing in, initiation
    initiation, launch, launching, start, starting, beginning, setting in motion, putting in motion, getting under way, getting going, getting off the ground, instigation, setting up, inauguration, founding, foundation, establishment, organization, activation, actuation, generation, origination
    View synonyms


Late Middle English (in institution (sense 2, institution sense 3)): via Old French from Latin institutio(n-), from the verb instituere (see institute). institution (sense 1) dates from the early 18th century.