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institution +‎ -al.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˌɪnstɪˈtjuʃənəl/, /ˌɪnstɪˈtʃuːʃənəl/, /-ʃnəl/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˌɪnstɪˈtjuʃənəl/, /ˌɪnstɪˈtuʃənəl/, /-ʃnəl/
  • Audio (US):(file)



institutional (comparative more institutional, superlative most institutional)

  1. Of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or organized along the lines of an institution.
    • 2022 September 7, Dr Joseph Brennan, “Railway towns and a social revolution”, in RAIL, number 965, page 55, photo caption:
      Swindon's Model Lodging House was originally designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The 1847-1849 recession led to delays and plan revisions, including smaller windows in the finished structure, resulting in a more 'institutional' appearance.
  2. Instituted by authority.[1]
    institutional ruling
  3. Elementary; rudimentary.[1]
  4. Arising from the practice of an institution.
    • 1999, William MacPherson, The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry, Cm 4262-I, para 6.48
      There must be an unequivocal acceptance of the problem of institutional racism and its nature before it can be addressed

Derived terms



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institutional (plural institutionals)

  1. A client that is an organization rather than an individual.
    • 1968, The Public Relations Journal - Volume 24, page 3:
      Few public relations people have learned to communicate effectively with the funds, meet their needs, and maintain a balance between institutionals and indivdual round lot holders.
    • 1999, E. Wymeersch, Shareholder Voting Rights and Practices in Europe and the United States, page 51:
      At a later stage one could imagine some institutionals occasionally or even systematically engaging in law suits against companies or their directors to influence the company's conduct.
    • 2012, Peter Koslowski, Business Ethics in East Central Europe, page 13:
      Even during the distribution of the public capital assets "free of charge", the case of Czech Republic showed, that the restructuring of property, esp. in the concentrated institutional form of "institutionals", leads to a conservation of some essential dysfunctions of the past system.
    • 2015, Klaus J. Hopt, Eddy Wymeersch, Comparative Corporate Governance: Essays and Materials, page 69:
      Institutionals, especially also foreign institutionals have increased their holdings in the Belgian companies, with some effect on governance techniques.
  2. (politics) A Chilean senator who is appointed by the president for a term of eight years.
    • 2000, Country Forecast: Chile, page 6:
      The institutionals include four former senior military commanders, one from each of the four branches of the armed forces, selected by the National security Council (Cosena); two former Supreme Court judges and one former comptroller-general, selected by the Supreme Court; and one former interior minister and a former university rector, selected by the president.
    • 2003, Scott Morgenstern, Patterns of Legislative Politics, page 166:
      The time series is very short for the post-1998 transition in the Senate, but if the few votes are indicative, they show that at least a few of the institutionals are much more willing to join legislative majorities than before.
    • 2010, Peter M. Siavelis, President and Congress in Postauthoritarian Chile, page 40:
      While the "institutionals" certainly have not voted as a bloc with the Right in all situations, in general terms they have been a reliable ally for this sector.
  3. A community where the majority of inhabitants work at an institution (as opposed to industry or trade), or one such inhabitant.
    • 1948, United States. Civil Aeronautics Administration, Airport Planning: Economic character of communities, page 13:
      In any time period, Marketing Centers and Institutionals will have a higher per capita index of airline passengers than either Industrial or Balanced communities.
    • 1953, Chester Rapkin, Housing Market Analysis: A Study of Theory and Methods, page 61:
      The "marketing" centers consisted of the metropolitan districts that were above average in wholesale sales but low in industrial employment. The "institutionals" were low in both trade and industrial employment.
    • 1962, Robert Horonjeff, The Planning and Design of Airports, page 121:
      It was found that marketing centers and institutionals had superior purchasing power to industrial and balanced centers, and in turn the number of airline passengers generated and the number of registered general aviation aircraft were also greater for the marketing and institutional classifications .
  4. An institutionalized person.
    • 1977, United States. Congress. Senate. Committee on the Judiciary. Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons, page 100:
      And I hope you can work it out where 'institutionals' can have rights too.
    • 1981, Bella Jacobs, Working with the At-risk Older Person: A Resource Manual, page 42:
      We have no groups that do not include ex-institutionals.
    • 2016, Judith Walzer Leavitt, Brought to Bed: Childbearing in America, 1750-1950, page 74:
      The first group, the so-called "institutionals," represents the poorest and most desperate women living in or near the urban centers. These women, often unmarried and frequently with no family support or employment, turned in their pregnant despair to public or private charity institutions.
  5. (sociology) A person whose sense of self is based on institutionalized values and standards, as opposed to their tastes and impulses.
    • 1981, Gregory Prentice Stone, Harvey A. Farberman, Social Psychology Through Symbolic Interaction, page 206:
      If vocational counseling to help the individual find his peculiar niche has elements of the impulse conception of self, the idea that a person can make of himself what he will, that one chooses a task and then works at it, is the view of institutionals.
    • 1988, Michael R. Wood, Louis A. Zurcher Jr., The Development of a Postmodern Self, page 22:
      For institutionals the self is revealed through adherence to a high standard, especially in spite of adverse conditions.
    • 1999, Roy F. Baumeister, The Self in Social Psychology:
      For the institutionals, hypocrisy consists of failing to live up to one's standards.



Further reading