• (RP) IPA: /ˌɪnstɪˈtjuːʃən/, /ˌɪnstɪˈtʃuːʃən/
  • (America) IPA: /ˌɪnstɪˈtuːʃən/


  1. A custom or practice of a society or community.
    The institution of marriage is present in many cultures but its details vary widely across them.
  2. An organization similarly long established and respected, particularly one involved with education, public service, or charity work.
    The University of the South Pacific is the only internationally-accredited institution of higher education in Oceania.
  3. The building or buildings which house such an organization.
    He's been in an institution since the crash.
  4. (informal) Other places or businesses similarly long established and respected.
    Over time, the local pub has become something of an institution.
    • 2009 February 19, Gareth Lewis, [ Southern Daily Echo]:
      "They have turned a great old English institution into a shameful clip-joint. It's a shuddering, howling tragedy."
  5. (informal) A person similarly long established in a place, position, or field.
    She's not just any old scholar; she is an institution.
  6. The act of instituting something.
    The institution of higher speed limits was a popular move but increased the severity of crashes.
  7. (Christianity) The act by which a bishop commits a cure of souls to a priest.
  8. (obsolete) That which institutes or instructs, particularly a textbook or system of elements or rules.
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