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

On cross-examination, Jung admitted the NYPD started teaching the seatbelt hold after Pantaleo's time at the academy and none of the training materials mention neck contact, amNewYork reports. CBS News, "Cop accused of using fatal chokehold on Eric Garner won't testify," 5 June 2019 Many have ramped up English education programs, spread resources to their abroad academies and affiliates, and hired full-time teachers to teach language classes and aid in the overall transition. Jesse Dougherty,, "MLB, long expecting Latin players to learn English, is finally beginning to speak their language," 4 June 2019 The academy and our mass entertainment culture are entities of the left and will continue to push in that direction. Peggy Noonan, WSJ, "Republicans Need to Save Capitalism," 14 Feb. 2019 My first dan black belt was certified by the Kukkiwon, Korea's national academy for Taekwondo (also known as the World Taekwondo Headquarters). Jen Malia, SELF, "My Taekwondo Black Belt Changed My Life as an Autistic Woman," 18 Apr. 2019 In the past few years, hundreds of microblading academies and permanent-makeup classes have sprouted up across the country. Monica Corcoran Harel, Marie Claire, "What Is Cosmetic Tattooing? Read This Before You Get One," 29 Mar. 2019 One study, produced by an Italian golf academy this month, concluded that the flagstick helps on putts that hit it dead-on but hurts on putts that graze one side of the other. Brian Costa, WSJ, "Golf’s New Conundrum: Flagstick In or Out?," 24 Jan. 2019 The unnamed aircraft will be tested in 2019 and could become the first aircraft designed by the academy to enter service with the U.S. Armed Forces. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The U.S. Air Force Academy Is Building Its Own 40-Foot Stealth Drone," 12 Dec. 2018 Francois was hired into the San Diego police academy on May 5, 2014, graduated six months later and went on the streets under supervision of field training officers for four months, his lawyer said. Pauline Repard,, "Trial opens on claims black officer fired over 'north of 8' favoritism at San Diego Police Department," 11 July 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

9 Jun 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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