An institute is an organisational body created for a certain purpose.
Often they are research organisations (research institutions) created to do research on specific topics. An institute can also be a professional body, or one involved in adult education, see Mechanics' Institutes.
In some countries institutes can be part of a university or other institutions of higher education, either as a group of departments or an autonomous educational institution without a traditional university status such as a "university Institute". (See Institute of Technology)
The word "institute" comes from a Latin word institutum meaning "facility" or "habit"; from instituere meaning "build", "create", "raise" or "educate".
United Kingdom and Isle of Man
In the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man the term "institute" is a protected word and companies or other organizations may only use the word if they are "organisations which are carrying out research at the highest level or to professional bodies of the highest standing". Furthermore, if a company is carrying on a business under a different name to the company name, that business name must comply with the Business Names Act. Use of the title "institute" requires approval from the Secretary of State. Failure to seek approval is a criminal offence.