establish Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. verb set up or found
    found; set up; launch.
    • She set up a literacy program
  2. verb set up or lay the groundwork for
    constitute; found; plant; institute.
    • establish a new department
  3. verb establish the validity of something, as by an example, explanation or experiment
    shew; demonstrate; show; prove.
    • The experiment demonstrated the instability of the compound
    • The mathematician showed the validity of the conjecture
  4. verb institute, enact, or establish
    lay down; make.
    • make laws
  5. verb bring about
    • The trompe l'oeil-illusion establishes depth
  6. verb place
    instal; set up; install.
    • Her manager had set her up at the Ritz
  7. verb build or establish something abstract
    • build a reputation
  8. verb use as a basis for; found on
    found; base; ground.
    • base a claim on some observation


Es*tab"lish transitive verb
OE. establissen, OF. establir, F. établir, fr. L. stabilire, fr. stabilis firm, steady, stable. See Stable, a., -ish, and cf. Stablish.
imperfect & past participle Established ; present participle & verbal noun Establishing
  1. To make stable or firm; to fix immovably or firmly; to set (a thing) in a place and make it stable there; to settle; to confirm.
    So were the churches established in the faith. Acts xvi. 5.
    The best established tempers can scarcely forbear being borne down. Burke.
    Confidence which must precede union could be established only by consummate prudence and self-control. Bancroft.
  2. To appoint or constitute for permanence, as officers, laws, regulations, etc.; to enact; to ordain.
    By the consent of all, we were established The people's magistrates. Shak.
    Now, O king, establish the decree, and sign the writing, that it be not changed. Dan. vi. 8.
  3. To originate and secure the permanent existence of; to found; to institute; to create and regulate; -- said of a colony, a state, or other institutions.
    He hath established it [the earth], he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited. Is. xlv. 18.
    Woe to him that buildeth a town with blood, and establisheth a city by iniquity! Hab. ii. 12.
  4. To secure public recognition in favor of; to prove and cause to be accepted as true; as, to establish a fact, usage, principle, opinion, doctrine, etc.
    At the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established. Deut. xix. 15.
  5. To set up in business; to place advantageously in a fixed condition; -- used reflexively; as, he established himself in a place; the enemy established themselves in the citadel.

Webster 1913