Definition of establish in English:

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Pronunciation: /əˈstabliSH/


[with object]
1Set up (an organization, system, or set of rules) on a firm or permanent basis: the British established a rich trade with Portugal
More example sentences
  • Beatrice, a former director of a market research company, had just established her own firm.
  • He left the security of permanent employment to establish a sports centre in Melbourne.
  • It will be the first licensed international brokerage firm to be established in Abu Dhabi.
set up, start, initiate, institute, form, found, create, inaugurate;
build, construct, install
1.1Initiate or bring about (contact or communication): the two countries established diplomatic relations
More example sentences
  • I am also grateful to my sister for her liaison with indigenous education colleagues, and for establishing some of my contacts in Adelaide.
  • Some teachers would make an initial effort to establish communication and then would lessen their efforts.
  • But once contact had been established, the information given was both speedy and accurate.
2Achieve permanent acceptance or recognition for: the principle of the supremacy of national parliaments needs to be firmly established he had established himself as a film star
More example sentences
  • He has firmly established himself as a young goalkeeper with a big future.
  • The gold was won by Christian Olsson, the Swede, who has firmly established himself as Jonathan Edwards's heir.
  • During that time she has established herself as an accomplished broadcaster, capable of dealing with the most delicate and difficult news stories.
2.1Introduce (a character, set, or location) into a film or play and allow its identification: establish the location with a wide shot
More example sentences
  • Once the premise has been established, the film allows Johnston to revisit four women and catch a sobering glimpse of the different lives he might have led.
  • The film wastes little time establishing the main characters and their inter-relationships.
  • But ‘Hellboy’ screams of future opportunity now that the character has been established on film.
3Show (something) to be true or certain by determining the facts: [with clause]: the police established that the two passports were forgeries
More example sentences
  • The firm's research had established that 75 retailers had requirements for space in York, some of whom would want to come into the city from outside.
  • Research firmly establishes a link between a country's increased trade and economic well-being.
  • Research has firmly established the link between social function and pathological outcomes.
prove, demonstrate, show, indicate, signal, exhibit, manifest, attest to, evidence, determine, confirm, verify, certify, substantiate
4 Bridge Ensure that one’s remaining cards in (a suit) will be winners (if not trumped) by playing off the high cards in that suit.
Example sentences
  • You now leave him with his trump winner, and establish clubs.
  • So what if they establish their spades?



Pronunciation: /əˈstabliSHər/
Example sentences
  • The establisher or representative of the enterprise submits the full dossier as prescribed in Article 7 of this Decree to the business registration bureau of the locality where the enterprise has its headquarters.


Late Middle English (recorded earlier as stablish): from Old French establiss-, lengthened stem of establir, from Latin stabilire 'make firm', from stabilis (adjective) 'stable'.

Words that rhyme with establish


For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: es·tab·lish

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