noun acad·e·my \ ə-ˈka-də-mē \
|Updated on: 18 Aug 2018

Definition of academy

plural academies
1 a : 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

Examples of academy in a Sentence

  1. an academy of the fine arts

Recent Examples of academy from the Web

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.

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.

Origin and Etymology of 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 2-y; 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

ACADEMY Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of academy for English Language Learners

  • : 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

ACADEMY Defined for Kids


noun acad·e·my \ ə-ˈka-də-mē \

Definition of academy for Students

plural academies
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

History for academy

In ancient Greece, a philosopher named Plato started a school at a public exercise field. The field and nearby groves of trees were named for a hero of Greek legend. The English word academy came from the name of the hero for whom Plato's school was named.

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very hard to disturb or upset

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