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

Synonyms for academy


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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 Michael Wilson, the principal of the academy, worried that the law could be used to target the school. New York Times, 8 May 2022 After the death of the academy’s headmaster, John McManamey, a photo of his daughter, Gertrude, was found that shows her sitting beneath a painting with what appears to be Still Life’s wooden frame. Antonia Mufarech, Smithsonian Magazine, 21 Apr. 2022 The audience was not amused, but according to MacFarlane, the academy asked him to return the following year. Washington Post, 22 Mar. 2022 In 2016, Colburn — the community music school, conservatory, academy and dance school — bought a cheerless outdoor parking lot on the corner of 2nd and Olive streets downtown for $33 million. Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, 16 Mar. 2022 Treating them as a crime—and casting them through the lens of national security—infringe on the autonomy of the academy and limit its ability for self-governance. Yangyang Cheng, Wired, 24 Feb. 2022 This marks another milestone in my career, as well as in the history of the academy. Ruth Kinane,, 8 Feb. 2022 But the acting branch of the academy decided differently. Lindsey Bahr, ajc, 8 Feb. 2022 At the time, fewer than 100 of the academy’s 1,700 members were women. San Diego Union-Tribune, 31 Dec. 2021 See More

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.

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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The first known use of academy was in 1549

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Dictionary Entries Near academy



Academy Award

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Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Academy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for academy


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

More from Merriam-Webster on academy

Nglish: Translation of academy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of academy for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about academy


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