noun, often attributive \ˈkä-lij\

: a school in the U.S. that you go to after high school : a school that offers courses leading to a degree (such as a bachelor's degree or an associate's degree)

: a part of an American university that offers courses in a specified subject

: a school in Britain that offers advanced training in a specified subject

Full Definition of COLLEGE

:  a body of clergy living together and supported by a foundation
:  a building used for an educational or religious purpose
a :  a self-governing constituent body of a university offering living quarters and sometimes instruction but not granting degrees <Balliol and Magdalen Colleges at Oxford> —called also residential college
b :  a preparatory or high school
c :  an independent institution of higher learning offering a course of general studies leading to a bachelor's degree; also :  a university division offering this
d :  a part of a university offering a specialized group of courses
e :  an institution offering instruction usually in a professional, vocational, or technical field <business college>
:  company, group; specifically :  an organized body of persons engaged in a common pursuit or having common interests or duties
a :  a group of persons considered by law to be a unit
b :  a body of electors — compare electoral college
:  the faculty, students, or administration of a college

Examples of COLLEGE

  1. She teaches art at a local college.
  2. He graduated from one of the country's best colleges.
  3. She attended a business college.
  4. He attended college for several years, but didn't graduate.
  5. She dropped out of college.
  6. I went to Mount Holyoke College.
  7. When I was a junior in college, I spent a semester in Spain.
  8. the Edinburgh College of Art
  9. the London College of Fashion
  10. She is attending fashion college.

Origin of COLLEGE

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin collegium society, from collega colleague — more at colleague
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Education Terms

baccalaureate, colloquium, corequisite, dissertation, monograph, pedant, practicum, survey course, thesis

Rhymes with COLLEGE


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Institution that offers postsecondary education. The term has various meanings. In Roman law a collegium was a body of persons associated for a common function. The name was used by many medieval institutions, including guilds. In most universities of the later Middle Ages, collegium meant an endowed residence hall for university students. The colleges kept libraries and scientific instruments and offered salaries to tutors who could prepare students to be examined for degrees. Eventually few students lived outside colleges, and college teaching eclipsed university teaching. In England, secondary schools (e.g., Winchester and Eton) are sometimes called colleges. Canada also has collegiate schools. In the U.S., college may refer to a four-year institution of higher education offering a bachelor's degree, or to a two-year junior or community college with a program leading to the associate's degree. A four-year college usually emphasizes a liberal arts or general education rather than specialized technical or vocational preparation. The four-year college may be an independent private institution or an undergraduate division of a university.


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