Definition of institutionalize in US English:


(British institutionalise)


[with object]
  • 1Establish (something, typically a practice or activity) as a convention or norm in an organization or culture.

    ‘a system that institutionalizes bad behavior’
    • ‘The more difficult task is to institutionalize a process that can achieve his vision.’
    • ‘The Singaporean culture seems rather hectic and competitive, with a heavily institutionalised public education system where the workload gets heavy at a very early level.’
    • ‘Quakers have institutionalized this practice by encouraging individuals to join in silence even in the heat of argument as a way of building a bond of unity in the midst of controversy.’
    • ‘As a system of circulation and exchange, the post office institutionalises modes of correspondence, producing and regulating particular subjectivities.’
    • ‘Young organizations have not yet institutionalized their practices and may still be experimenting with different options.’
    • ‘With these latest actions, the government is institutionalizing a procedure under which the president, invoking his position as commander-in-chief, can issue an edict and imprison anyone he chooses.’
    • ‘These campaign finance laws forced special interests to organize into political action committees and greatly institutionalized the practice of buying influence with campaign contributions.’
    • ‘We must constantly work to improve conditions in all areas of our work and institutionalize our process improvements.’
    • ‘Hired in 1969 to head UCSF's modest chemistry department, Rutter institutionalized the practice of collaborative research on a grand scale.’
    • ‘The federal government has institutionalized a process where government lawyers in the Department of Justice evaluate government bills for their consistency with Charter values.’
    • ‘The solutions that work are institutionalised.’
    • ‘It is widely supposed that one way to do this is to institutionalize the decision-making process, transforming it from an individual action into a collective one.’
    • ‘But the important difference between then and now is that this process is institutionalised, through a commodification that is fully a part of market forces.’
    • ‘A decision to permit generics to bid on procurement contracts will institutionalize market competition and drive prices, including those of new drugs, steadily downward.’
    • ‘But anthropology, in fact, guards a treasure house of examples of what happens when a society institutionalizes other arrangements.’
    • ‘This task of institutionalizing the peace process on the Peninsula will take time.’
    • ‘Let's institutionalize the process, say that each of us will talk to our membership or our leadership about our goals.’
    • ‘By joining with others to institutionalize green practices this way, public departments have become agents of change, adding real value to their portfolio of building assets while reaping civic dividends.’
    • ‘Under the influence of Hume's empirical philosophy in the second half of the eighteenth century, the idea that natural science was a positivistic practice was institutionalized.’
    • ‘The system of managed migration institutionalizes this arrangement.’
    hospitalize, confine, put away, lock away, lock up
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  • 2usually be institutionalizedPlace or keep (someone) in a residential institution.

    ‘these adolescents had more contacts with the police and were charged and institutionalized more often’
    • ‘She's then institutionalized for the remainder of the film.’
    • ‘But one of the most scary and frustrating is wandering, and often ends with the person being institutionalised.’
    • ‘So what you're saying there, it's great to get young people involved in sport in any way we can, but some of these older people who are institutionalised, they can't play sport when they go out, but they might just want to go out and watch it.’
    • ‘The boy is a product of a troubled homelife and he was institutionalized at 12 after threatening to commit suicide to get away from his abusive father; his mother is not in the picture.’
    • ‘One source suggested there were deeper, personal issues, behind Carr's action and not just because he was institutionalised.’
    • ‘Your whole family makes the effort to shower him with affection, yet his psychological problems worsen and you talk to your spouse about institutionalizing him.’
    • ‘She was institutionalized after I found out who she was and what she was trying to do to us.’
    • ‘That's how long it has taken to deal with the question of locked-up money belonging to people who were once institutionalised.’
    • ‘The outburst may have been violent and warrant for arrest or to institutionalize her, but I provoked it.’
    • ‘Mom spent the years 1967 to 1988 providing some level of care to Dad while he was institutionalized.’
    • ‘That was sort of shelved when I was institutionalised, but my mother called me that as soon as I went home.’
    • ‘She was nearly institutionalized in her mid-thirties by her older sister, a bitter twisted creature that felt pleasure only when inflicting pain on others.’
    • ‘The true tragedy hasn't been his condition, but rather the doctor who wanted to institutionalize him, the school that refused his admittance, the babysitter that insisted I remain at the childcare center.’
    • ‘Decker was worried that I might try to institutionalize him.’
    • ‘She had left the United States because she believed that Robert would again try to institutionalize her.’
    • ‘The fact that someone else would make better choices than the elderly person does not require the appointment of a guardian or institutionalizing the elderly person.’
    • ‘One thing I do know is that he was institutionalized at some point in the late 50s - early 60s, was probably shuffled around a bit through the years, and ended up dying in the care of a nursing home.’
    • ‘Back then, if you were a junkie, you were institutionalized or sent to jail.’
    • ‘He was institutionalised for six months and recently returned home.’
    • ‘Her town of 10,000 basically thinks that all elderly demented people should be institutionalized instead of cared for at home.’
    commit, certify, section, hospitalize, institutionalize
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