Meaning of “establish” in the English Dictionary

"establish" in British English

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uk /ɪˈstæb.lɪʃ/ us /ɪˈstæb.lɪʃ/

establish verb (START)

B2 [ T often passive ] to start a company or organization that will continue for a long time:

The brewery was established in 1822.
These methods of working were established in the last century.

C1 [ T often passive ] to start having a relationship with, or communicating with another person, company, country, or organization:

There is a strong need to establish effective communication links between staff, parents, pupils, and external bodies.

More examples

  • When the college was established in 1546, it inherited a hall from each of three antecedent institutions.
  • The two brothers established a clothes retailing business.
  • An international medical conference was established for the interchange of new ideas and approaches.
  • An aid programme was established to oil the wheels of economic reform in the region.
  • Grants will be given to establish centres of excellence in this field of research.

establish verb (ACCEPT)

C1 [ T ] to cause something or someone to be accepted in or familiar with a place, position, etc.:

His reputation for carelessness was established long before the latest problems arose.
He's established himself as a dependable source of information.
After three months we were well established in/at our new house/new jobs.
establish yourself C1 formal

to be in a successful position over a long period of time:

He has established himself as the leading candidate in the election.

More examples

  • She hit the ball so hard that her opponent had no chance to establish any rhythm in her game.
  • Once she became a prosecutor, she quickly established herself as a masterful trial lawyer.
  • World Music is now well established and popular with mass audiences and mainstream companies.
  • They preach the abolition of established systems but propose nothing to replace them.
  • Recent evidence has tended to contradict established theories on this subject.

establish verb (DISCOVER)

C2 [ T ] formal to discover or get proof of something:

Before we take any action we must establish the facts/truth.
[ + question word ] Can you establish what time she left home/whether she has left home.
[ + (that) ] We have established (that) she was born in 1900.

More examples

  • The prosecution has to establish his guilt beyond (reasonable) doubt/ beyond a (reasonable) doubt.
  • It's often difficult to establish who the guilty party is following a road accident.
  • The police are still trying to establish the cause of the fire.
  • There are tests which can establish a baby's genetic endowment.
  • Scientists have established the relationship between lung cancer and smoking.

(Definition of “establish” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"establish" in American English

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establishverb [ T ]

us /ɪˈstæb·lɪʃ/

establish verb [ T ] (START)

to start something that will last for a long time, or to create or set something in a particular way:

He helped to establish the University of California at Berkeley.
Once we establish the price, we can begin to market the product.

establish verb [ T ] (ACCEPT)

to cause someone or something to be accepted generally:

She’s established herself as a leading authority on urban problems.

establish verb [ T ] (PROVE)

to prove something or show the state of something, esp. by collecting facts or information about it:

The coroner has not yet established the cause of death.
[ + question word ] We’re trying to establish what happened here.

(Definition of “establish” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"establish" in Business English

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uk /ɪˈstæblɪʃ/ us

[ T, often passive ] to start a company or organization that will continue for a long time:

The firm was established in 1822.
The company intends to establish a presence in Korea.
establish yourself

[ T ] to reach a successful position over a period of time:

He has established himself as one of the most active business leaders in the community.
The company quickly established itself as a recognized global brand.

(Definition of “establish” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)