acad·​e·​my | \ ə-ˈka-də-mē How to pronounce academy (audio) \
plural academies

Definition of academy

1a : a school usually above the elementary level especially : a private high school
b : a high school or college in which special subjects or skills are taught
c : higher education used with the the functions of the academy in modern society

2 capitalized

a : the school for advanced education founded by Plato
b : the philosophical doctrines associated with Plato's Academy
3 : a society of learned persons organized to advance art, science, or literature
4 : a body of established opinion widely accepted as authoritative in a particular field

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Synonyms for academy


academe, school, seminary

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Did You Know?

Our word academy comes from the Greek word Akademeia, the name of the park or grove outside of ancient Athens where the philosopher Plato taught his students. Just as schools and parks today are often named after famous persons, the Akademeia had been named in honor of a Greek hero, Akademos.

Examples of academy in a Sentence

an academy of the fine arts

Recent Examples on the Web

In 2016-17 the academy was listed as having 22 students in grades 4-12. Ann Doss Helms, charlotteobserver, "Charlotte private school was a front for foreign athletes to dodge ICE, feds say," 6 July 2018 Last year, the academy's enrollment was 500 with about 40 percent refugees and 60 percent immigrants. Diane Smith, star-telegram, "'After the headlines have faded,' they will be the first to see immigrant children's trauma," 29 June 2018 The police representatives from all 32 competing countries plus 2022 host Qatar will gather in a police academy on the edge of the forest outside Moscow to share intelligence and spot troublemakers in World Cup crowds. Washington Post, "Russian police academy turns into World Cup nerve center," 12 June 2018 The Korean sensation was one of the most exciting players in Barca’s academy, but in 2014 he and eight other players were banned because Barcelona had broken FIFA youth eligibility rules. Michelle Kaufman, miamiherald, "Which of these 10 young players will become World Cup stars? | Miami Herald," 25 May 2018 At this week's meeting, members agreed to review the academy's operating practices, according to a statement released by the body. Jan M. Olsen, The Christian Science Monitor, "In the face of scandals, no Nobel literature prize will be awarded this year," 4 May 2018 Arnault has also been accused of leaking information about the academy's deliberations and selections in past years. Anchorage Daily News, "Sex scandal's latest casualty: The 2018 Nobel Prize in literature," 4 May 2018 Snell met Rayam in the Baltimore Police training academy in 2005, and left the force in 2008. Justin Fenton,, "Philadelphia cop charged in Gun Trace Task Force case asks for pre-trial release," 4 May 2018 The IMSA Fusion program was developed by the academy's educators. Linda Girardi, Aurora Beacon-News, "Illinois Math and Science Academy program to help schools in underserved areas," 24 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'academy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of academy

1549, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for academy

in sense 2, borrowed from Latin Acadēmīa, borrowed from Greek Akadḗmeia, Akadēmía, from the name of the gymnasium near Athens where Plato taught, from Akádēmos, Attic mythological hero + -eia or -ia -y entry 2; in senses 1, 3, and 4 borrowed from French, Italian, & New Latin; French académie, borrowed from Italian & New Latin; Italian accademia, borrowed from New Latin academia, going back to Latin Acadēmīa

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Statistics for academy

Last Updated

17 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for academy

The first known use of academy was in 1549

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More Definitions for academy



English Language Learners Definition of academy

: a school that provides training in special subjects or skills
US : a private high school
: an organization of people who work to support art, science, or literature


acad·​e·​my | \ ə-ˈka-də-mē How to pronounce academy (audio) \
plural academies

Kids Definition of academy

1 : a private high school
2 : a high school or college where special subjects are taught a military academy
3 : an organization which supports art, science, or literature

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Comments on academy

What made you want to look up academy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a shady place in a garden or forest

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