acad·​e·​my | \ə-ˈka-də-mē \
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

Subsequently, several other members, including Ms. Frostenson, left the academy. Dominic Chopping, WSJ, "Frenchman at Heart of Nobel Scandal Convicted of Second Rape," 3 Dec. 2018 Metin Hara is a teacher in personal development and self-help and the founder of the Trusthuman academy in Istanbul, as well as the author of the best-selling book The Path, the first in his Invasion of Love trilogy. Metin Hara, Vogue, "How to Be Thankful (Even When It Feels Like the Rest of the World Is Going Crazy)," 22 Nov. 2018 And while house managers frequently come from a hospitality background—often having worked as the chief of staff at a high-end hotel or resort—butlers are trained at a specialized and credited butler academy. Lindsay Silberman, Town & Country, "What's the Difference Between a Butler and a House Manager, Anyway?," 31 July 2018 But as the path to the pros through the academies becomes well traveled, starting in a player’s pre-teen years, the quality of the national team will jump as a result. Rich Campbell,, "Missing World Cup can't be in vain for U.S. men's national team," 13 July 2018 In 2014, Lopez was kicked out of the city’s firefighting academy after threatening a female cadet. Amanda Seitz, The Seattle Times, "Hospital gunman fired at least 30 times before killing self," 21 Nov. 2018 Amazon Studios Dario Argento’s Suspiria, a horror classic set at a dance academy governed by a coven of witches, was released in 1977; Luca Guadagnino set his remake in the same year, in Berlin. Eliza Brooke, Vox, "Sorry to Bother You," 12 Nov. 2018 Kloss would end up taking classes at the tech academy on her days off long after the introductory program was over. Chioma Nnadi, Vogue, "Karlie Kloss Gets Candid About Politics, Her Relationship, and Women in Tech," 11 Sep. 2018 The goose-steppers are mostly from military academies or elite army units, selected because of their loyalty to the Kim government, family background and height. Fox News, "Past goose-steppers proud of place in North Korean parades," 6 Sep. 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

8 Dec 2018

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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

: a private high school

: an organization of people who work to support art, science, or literature


acad·​e·​my | \ə-ˈka-də-mē \
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).


living or existing for a long time

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