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1 : to institute (as a law) permanently by enactment or agreement [we the people of the United States…do ordain and this Constitution "U.S. Constitution preamble"]
2 : to make firm or stable
3 : to bring into existence
: found [Congress shall have power…to post offices and post roads "U.S. Constitution art. I"]
: to found (a national bank) pursuant to a charter
4 : to make (a church) a national or state institution see also establishment, establishment clause
5 : to put beyond doubt
6 : to place in a position of being accepted or followed [a rule ed by case law]
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.