from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To establish, organize, or introduce: synonym: establish.
  • transitive verb To initiate; begin.
  • transitive verb To establish or invest (someone) in an office or position.
  • noun An organization founded to promote a cause.
  • noun An educational institution, especially one for the instruction of technical subjects.
  • noun The building or buildings housing such an institution.
  • noun A usually short, intensive workshop or seminar on a specific subject.
  • noun A principle or rudiment of a particular subject.
  • noun A digest of or commentary on such principles or rudiments, especially a legal abstract.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Instituted; established.
  • To set up; establish; put into form and operation; set afoot: as, to institute laws, rules, or regulations; to institute a government or a court; to institute a suit or an investigation.
  • To establish in an office; appoint; in ecclesiastical use, to assign to a spiritual charge; invest with the cure of souls: used absolutely, or followed by to or into.
  • To ground or establish in principles; educate; instruct.
  • noun An established principle, rule, or law; a settled order.
  • noun plural A collection of established laws, rules, or principles; a book of elements, especially in jurisprudence: as, the Institutes of Justinian; Erskine's “Institutes of the Law of Scotland”; Calvin's “Institutes of the Christian Religion.”
  • noun An established body of persons; an institution; a society or association organized for some specific work, especially of a literary or scientific character: as, a philosophic or educational institute; a mechanics' institute; the Institute of Civil Engineers; the National Institute of France, or specifically the institute (see below).
  • noun In Scots law, the person to whom the estate is first given in a destination.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective obsolete Established; organized; founded.
  • transitive verb To set up; to establish; to ordain
  • transitive verb To originate and establish; to found; to organize.
  • transitive verb obsolete To nominate; to appoint.
  • transitive verb To begin; to commence; to set on foot
  • transitive verb obsolete To ground or establish in principles and rudiments; to educate; to instruct.
  • transitive verb (Eccl. Law) To invest with the spiritual charge of a benefice, or the care of souls.
  • noun obsolete The act of instituting; institution.
  • noun That which is instituted, established, or fixed, as a law, habit, or custom.
  • noun Hence: An elementary and necessary principle; a precept, maxim, or rule, recognized as established and authoritative; usually in the plural, a collection of such principles and precepts; esp., a comprehensive summary of legal principles and decisions. Cf. Digest, n.
  • noun An institution; a society established for the promotion of learning, art, science, etc.; a college; ; The Massachusetts Institute of Technology; also, a building owned or occupied by such an institute.
  • noun (Scots Law) The person to whom an estate is first given by destination or limitation.
  • noun theoretical medicine; that department of medical science which attempts to account philosophically for the various phenomena of health as well as of disease; physiology applied to the practice of medicine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An organization founded to promote a cause
  • noun An institution of learning; a college, especially for technical subjects
  • noun The building housing such an institution
  • verb transitive To begin or initiate (something).
  • verb obsolete, transitive To train, instruct.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb set up or lay the groundwork for
  • noun an association organized to promote art or science or education
  • verb advance or set forth in court


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English instituten, from Latin īnstituere, īnstitūt-, to establish : in-, in; see in– + statuere, to set up; see stā- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English , from Latin īnstitūtus, past participle of īnstituō ("I set up, place upon, purpose, begin, institute"), from in ("in, on") + statuō ("set up, establish").


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  • For the last three years, we were assisted by the International Education Board; but as the board no longer wishes to continue the appropriations to us, our funds are threatening to run down so that we must try to get money from somewhere else if this institute is to be able to go on working.

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