Share this entry
institutionalize Line breaks: in|sti|tu¦tion¦al|ize
Pronunciation: /ɪnstɪˈtjuːʃ(ə)n(ə)lʌɪz/
(also institutionalise)

Definition of institutionalize in English:


[with object]
1Establish (something, typically a practice or activity) as a convention or norm in an organization or culture: he institutionalized the practice of collaborative research on a grand scale (as adjective institutionalized) institutionalized religion
More example sentences
  • Young organizations have not yet institutionalized their practices and may still be experimenting with different options.
  • 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.
  • These campaign finance laws forced special interests to organize into political action committees and greatly institutionalized the practice of buying influence with campaign contributions.
2Place or keep (someone) in a residential institution: he was institutionalized in a school for the destitute
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • She's then institutionalized for the remainder of the film.
  • Mom spent the years 1967 to 1988 providing some level of care to Dad while he was institutionalized.
2.1 (as adjective institutionalized) (Of a person) apathetic and dependent after a long period in an institution: I became less institutionalized, more able to function as an individual
More example sentences
  • No matter how institutionalized you are, there is a part of you that panics whenever you get a new cellmate.
  • I'm so relieved now that I didn't because I was so institutionalised, I couldn't see any other way at that moment.
Definition of institutionalize in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Related Words