1. The act of instituting; institution. "Water sanctified by Christ's institute."

2. That which is instituted, established, or fixed, as a law, habit, or custom.

3. Hence: An elementary and necessary principle; a precept, maxim, or rule, recognised as established and authoritative; usually in the plural, a collection of such principles and precepts; especially, a comprehensive summary of legal principles and decisions; as, the Institutes of Justinian; Coke's Institutes of the Laws of England. Cf. Digest, "They made a sort of institute and digest of anarchy." (Burke) "To make the Stoics' institutes thy own." (Dryden)

4. An institution; a society established for the promotion of learning, art, science, etc.; a college; as, the Institute of Technology; also, a building owned or occupied by such an institute; as, the Cooper Institute.

5. The person to whom an estate is first given by destination or limitation. Institutes of medicine, theoretical medicine; that department of medical science which attempts to account philosophically for the various phenomena of health as well as of disease; physiology applied to the practice of medicine.

Origin: L. Institutum: cf. F. Institut. See Institute, &.

(01 Mar 1998)