Definition of institutionalize in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ɪnstɪˈtjuːʃ(ə)n(ə)lʌɪz/
(also institutionalise)


[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.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: in|sti|tu¦tion¦al|ize

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.

Related Words