views updated May 14 2018

es·tab·lish / iˈstablish/ • v. [tr.] 1. set up (an organization, system, or set of rules) on a firm or permanent basis: the British established a rich trade with Portugal. ∎  initiate or bring about (contact or communication): the two countries established diplomatic relations.2. achieve permanent acceptance for (a custom, belief, practice, or institution). ∎  achieve recognition or acceptance for (someone) in a particular capacity: he had established himself as a film star. ∎  [intr.] (of a plant) take root and grow. ∎  introduce (a character, set, or location) into a film or play and allow its identification: establish the location with a wide shot.3. show (something) to be true or certain by determining the facts: the police established that the two passports were forgeries. 4. Bridge ensure that one's remaining cards in (a suit) will be winners (if not trumped) by playing off the high cards in that suit.DERIVATIVES: es·tab·lish·er n.


views updated May 11 2018


This word occurs frequently in the Constitution of the United States, and it is used there in different meanings: (1) to settle firmly, to fix unalterably; as in to establish justice, which is the avowed object of the Constitution; (2) to make or form; as in to establish uniform laws governing naturalization orbankruptcy; (3) to found, to create, to regulate; as in "Congress shall have power to establish post offices"; (4) to found, recognize, confirm, or admit; as in "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion"; and (5) to create, to ratify, or confirm, as in "We, the people … do ordain and establish this Constitution."

To settle, make, or fix firmly; place on a permanent footing; found; create; put beyond doubt or dispute; prove; convince. To enact permanently. To bring about or into existence.


views updated May 23 2018

establish settle XIV; set up and settle XV; install XVI; prove valid XVIII. — establiss-, lengthened stem of OF. establir (mod. établir) — L. stabilīre, f. stabilis STABLE2; see -ISH2.
Hence establishment XV. Aphetic stablish is earlier.