General English



  • verb to start a new custom or procedure

Information & Library Science

  • noun an organisation set up for a particular group of people with a shared interest
  • verb to set up or establish something such as a policy or programme


  • noun an official organisation
  • noun the title of a professional organisation

Origin & History of “institute”

An institute is etymologically something ‘established’ or ‘set up’. Its ancestor is Latin instituere ‘establish’, a compound verb formed from the prefix in- and statuere ‘set up’ (itself a derivative of stāre ‘stand’ and source of English prostitute, statute, etc). The noun derived from this was institūtum, which meant ‘purpose, plan, practice’. word and senses were taken over as a package by English, but these meanings are now dead or dying, having been taken over since the 19th century by ‘organization that promotes a particular cause or pursuit’ (this originated in French at the end of the 18th century). The verb institute, however, remains far closer to the original Latin meaning.