—v.t. 1. to set up; establish; organize: to institute a government. 2. to inaugurate; initiate; start: to institute a new course in American literature. 3. to set in operation: to institute a lawsuit. 4. to bring into use or practice: to institute laws. 5. to establish in an office or position.
6. Eccles.to assign to or invest with a spiritual charge, as of a parish.
—n. 1. a society or organization for carrying on a particular work, as of a literary, scientific, or educational character.
2. the building occupied by such a society.
3. Educ. a. an institution, generally beyond the secondary school level, devoted to instruction in technical subjects, usually separate but sometimes organized as a part of a university.
b. a unit within a university organized for advanced instruction and research in a relatively narrow field of subject matter.
c. a short instructional program set up for a special group interested in a specialized field or subject.
4. an established principle, law, custom, or organization.
5. institutes, a. an elementary textbook of law designed for beginners.
b. (cap.) Also called In'stitutes of Justin'ian. an elementary treatise on Roman law in four books, forming one of the four divisions of the Corpus Juris Civilis.
6. something instituted.