Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

institution

noun
     
Related topics: Business, Medicine, Sociology
in‧sti‧tu‧tion W1
1BM [countable] a large organization that has a particular kind of work or purpose
financial/educational/research etc institution
the Government and other political institutions
powerful institutions such as world banks
the Institution of Electrical Engineers
2SS [countable] an important system of organization in society that has existed for a long time:
social institutions such as the family and religion
the institution of marriage/monarchy etc
The scandal threatened to undermine the institution of the Presidency.
3 [countable] a building that people are sent to when they need to be looked after, for example old people or children with no parents - often used to show disapproval:
I was determined not to put my mother in an institution.
a mental institution (=for the mentally ill)
4 [uncountable] when something is started or introduced, especially something relating to the law or politics
institution of
the institution of divorce proceedings
5

be an institution

if a person, place, event etc is an institution, they have been an important part of a place for a very long time - often used humorously:
The British pub isn't just somewhere to drink - it's an institution.

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