The Institute of the Lithuanian Language is a scientific research centre for the Lithuanian language. The origins of the institute can be traced to the editorial board of the Dictionary of the Lithuanian Language, founded by Juozas Balčikonis in 1930. Collectively written dictionary is still one of the most significant and largest works of the Institute of the Lithuanian Language. The first scientific research institute of Lithuanian studies, Institute for Lithuanian Studies of Antanas Smetona, was established in Kaunas in 1939. In 1940 the institute was moved to Vilnius and settled in P. Vileišis Palace, Antakalnis street.

In 1941 the Institute for Lithuanian Studies of Antanas Smetona and the Lithuanian Society of Science were merged into the Institute of the Lithuanian Language, and incorporated into the Lithuanian Academy of Sciences. Directors during this period: academician prof. dr. Pranas Skardžius (1941), academician prof. dr. Antanas Salys (1941–1944), academician prof. dr. Juozas Balčikonis (1945–1952). From 1941 to 1952 the institute accumulated data for the Dictionary of the Lithuanian Language and collected data of proper names, researched toponyms of Vilnius region and dialects, compiled the Program of the Lithuanian Language Atlas (1951), organized dialectological expeditions, published the first (1941) and the second (1947) volume of the Dictionary of the Lithuanian Language, as well as Lithuanian Language Word Formation by Pranas Skardžius and so on.

In 1952 the Institute of the Lithuanian Language was merged with the Institute of the Lithuanian Literature with academician Kostas Korsakas appointed as a director. After the restoration of the Lithuanian state, on 16 April 1990 the Institute has regained its status as an independent institution and further proceeds with the multidimensional research into Lithuanian language, collects and publishes Lithuanian language material, analyses terminology and norms of the standard language.

After 1990 directors of the Institute of the Lithuanian language: academician prof. habil. dr. Aleksandras Vanagas (1990–1995), prof. habil. dr. Albertas Rosinas (1995), academician prof. habil. dr. Zigmas Zinkevičius (1995–1996), academician prof. habil. dr. Algirdas Sabaliauskas (1997–2000), dr. Artūras Judžentis (2000–2001), prof. habil. dr. Giedrius Subačius (2001–2003), prof. dr. Jolanta Zabarskaitė (2003–2018). Since 2018 Institute is headed by dr. Albina Auksoriūtė.

Since 2002 the Institute of the Lithuanian Language has moved to a building on P. Vileišis street.

Currently, the Institute of the Lithuanian Language consists of six research centres and two non-research departments. Reserch centres: Research Centre of the Baltic Languages and Onomastics, Research Centre of Standard Language, Research Centre of Geolinguistics, Research Centre of Written Heritage, Research Centre of Sociolinguistics, Terminology Centre. Lithuanian language museum “Lithuanian Hearth“ provides the latest knowledge about linguistics to the public in an attractive and modern way. Continuing publications of the Institute are: the science magazine Acta Linguistica Lithuanica, the science magazine Bendrinė Kalba (The Standard Language), the science magazine Terminologija (The Terminology).