1. The act or process of instituting; as: Establishment; foundation; enactment; as, the institution of a school. "The institution of God's law is described as being established by solemn injunction." (Hooker)

Instruction; education.

The act or ceremony of investing a clergyman with the spiritual part of a benefice, by which the care of souls is committed to his charge.

2. That which instituted or established; as: Established order, method, or custom; enactment; ordinance; permanent form of law or polity. "The nature of our people, Our city's institutions." (Shak)

An established or organised society or corporation; an establishment, especially of a public character, or affecting a community; a foundation; as, a literary institution; a charitable institution; also, a building or the buildings occupied or used by such organization; as, the Smithsonian Institution.

Anything forming a characteristic and persistent feature in social or national life or habits. "We ordered a lunch (the most delightful of English institutions, next to dinner) to be ready against our return." (Hawthorne)

3. That which institutes or instructs; a textbook; a system of elements or rules; an institute. "There is another manuscript, of above three hundred years old, . . . Being an institution of physic." (Evelyn)

Origin: L. Institutio: cf. F. Institution.

(01 Mar 1998)