in·sti·tu·tion (ĭn′stĭ-tshən, -ty-)
1. The act of instituting: the institution of reforms.
a. A custom, practice, relationship, or behavioral pattern of importance in the life of a community or society: the institutions of marriage and the family.
b. Informal One long associated with a specified place, position, or function.
a. An established organization or foundation, especially one dedicated to education, public service, or culture.
b. A building or complex of buildings housing such an organization.
c. A building or complex of buildings housing people who need special services, such as orphans or people with mental disabilities.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.