adjective \ˌyü-nə-ˈvər-səl\

: done or experienced by everyone : existing or available for everyone

: existing or true at all times or in all places

Full Definition of UNIVERSAL

:  including or covering all or a whole collectively or distributively without limit or exception; especially :  available equitably to all members of a society <universal health coverage>
a :  present or occurring everywhere
b :  existent or operative everywhere or under all conditions <universal cultural patterns>
a :  embracing a major part or the greatest portion (as of humankind) <a universal state> <universal practices>
b :  comprehensively broad and versatile <a universal genius>
a :  affirming or denying something of all members of a class or of all values of a variable
b :  denoting every member of a class <a universal term>
:  adapted or adjustable to meet varied requirements (as of use, shape, or size) <a universal gear cutter> <a universal remote control>
uni·ver·sal·ly \-s(ə-)lē\ adverb
uni·ver·sal·ness \-səl-nəs\ noun

Examples of UNIVERSAL

  1. an idea with universal appeal
  2. a pattern that is universal across all cultures


Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin universalis, from universum universe
First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with UNIVERSAL



Definition of UNIVERSAL

:  one that is universal: as
a :  a universal proposition in logic
b :  a predicable of traditional logic
c :  a general concept or term or something in reality to which it corresponds :  essence
a :  a behavior pattern or institution (as the family) existing in all cultures
b :  a culture trait characteristic of all normal adult members of a particular society

First Known Use of UNIVERSAL



noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

In metaphysics, epistemology, and logic, a general category, such as a property or relation, considered as distinct from the particular things that instantiate or exemplify it. The problem of universals concerns the question of what sort of being should be ascribed to such categories (e.g., is there any such thing as redness apart from particular red things?). The debate over the status of universals stems from Plato's theory of forms. Whereas Plato held that forms (universals) exist independently of particulars, Aristotle argued that forms exist only in the particulars in which they are exemplified. See also realism.


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