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


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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 The pickup truck was allegedly stolen from the firefighting academy in Quincy on Thursday, police said in the statement., "New England news in brief," 5 Feb. 2021 This was the case for Robert Hartwell, founder and artistic director of The Broadway Collective in New York City, an online training academy for future generations of Broadway artists. New York Times, "Spotlight on Old Houses," 29 Jan. 2021 Combine is a sports academy in the mold of IMG Academy of Bradenton. Buddy Collings,, "Oak Ridge, West Oaks, OCP advance in high school basketball tourneys," 28 Dec. 2020 Black Swan meets Pretty Little Liars in this addictive new series about an elite ballet academy in Chicago. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "8 TV Shows, Movies, and Audio Books to Help You Survive Another Week," 13 Dec. 2020 Set in Chicago, the show takes viewers inside an elite ballet academy called the Archer School, which trains young dancers from around the world to prepare for entrance into its partner professional dance company, City Works Ballet. Kelsey Hurwitz, Woman's Day, "Everything to Know About 'Tiny Pretty Things,' Netflix's Newest Thriller," 12 Dec. 2020 The Tigers will have four rookie-level teams: two in Lakeland, Florida, and two more in the Dominican Republic at the organization's academy in San Pedro de Macoris. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers affiliate: How Double-A baseball was saved in Erie, Pennsylvania," 11 Dec. 2020 The Black Knights’ 14-game losing streak was the longest by either academy in a series that began in 1890. Houston Mitchell Assistant Sports Editor, Los Angeles Times, "The Sports Report: UCLA routs San Diego, 83-56," 10 Dec. 2020 Since then, the French government has established an academy at the Villa Medici in Rome, Casa de Velázquez in Madrid, Villa Kujoyama in Kyoto, Japan, and smaller cultural outposts in about a dozen other places around the globe. Lydia Lee, ELLE Decor, "This New Artists’ Residence Fosters Connections Amid the Candy Colors," 24 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for academy

Time Traveler

The first known use of academy was in 1549

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Statistics for academy

Last Updated

23 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Academy.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2021.

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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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