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From Middle English establissen, from Old French establiss-, stem of some of the conjugated forms of establir, (Modern French établir), from Latin stabiliō, stabilīre, from stabilis (firm, steady, stable).


  • IPA(key): /ɪˈstæb.lɪʃ/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: es‧tab‧lish


establish (third-person singular simple present establishes, present participle establishing, simple past and past participle established)

  1. (transitive) To make stable or firm; to confirm.
    • 2015 February 7, Val Bourne, “The quiet man of the world of snowdrops”, in The Daily Telegraph (London), page G8:
      Once it [a snowdrop variety] became established, some bulbs were lifted and passed on to be chipped (i.e. cut into small pieces and grown on).
  2. (transitive) To form; to found; to institute; to set up in business.
  3. (transitive) To appoint or adopt, as officers, laws, regulations, guidelines, etc.; to enact; to ordain.
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 4, in A Cuckoo in the Nest[1]:
      By some paradoxical evolution rancour and intolerance have been established in the vanguard of primitive Christianity. Mrs. Spoker, in common with many of the stricter disciples of righteousness, was as inclement in demeanour as she was cadaverous in aspect.
  4. (transitive) To prove and cause to be accepted as true; to establish a fact; to demonstrate.

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