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 thethe 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 John Ortega, who helped form the Phoenix national prep academy, calls Sarmiento a high IQ player who will help the Fire. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Cesar Chavez loses second top basketball player to a prep team," 2 Jan. 2020 In addition to the firings, Sandy recommenced four academy instructors be suspended without pay. Jordan Culver, USA TODAY, "West Virginia correctional cadets fired for 'completely unacceptable' Nazi salute photo," 31 Dec. 2019 At 9, Ajai was enrolled at the Lawrence School, a private boarding academy in the foothills of the Himalayas in Sanawar, in northwest India. Robert D. Mcfadden, New York Times, "Sonny Mehta, Venerable Knopf Publisher, Is Dead at 77," 31 Dec. 2019 Hours after the shooting, Wilson, who owns a firearms training academy and is running for local office as a county commissioner, wrote about the incident on the Facebook page for his campaign. Kc Baker,, "Security Guard Hailed as a Hero for Shooting Gunman Who Killed 2 at Texas Church Service," 30 Dec. 2019 Enter $750,000 of renovations from the pockets of the couple who owns the academy. Domenica Bongiovanni, Indianapolis Star, "10 new venues for music, shows and art that you need to visit in and around Indianapolis," 29 Dec. 2019 Youth academies: Provides affordable instruction in 10 U.S. communities. John Shea,, "‘Very dangerous trend’: Baseball failing to hire African American managers," 28 Dec. 2019 Scientists including archaeologists are sharing data more freely within and beyond the academy. Elizabeth Sawchuk, Smithsonian Magazine, "Archaeologists Are Unearthing the Stories of the Past Faster Than Ever Before," 27 Dec. 2019 Fire academy: The Brecksville Fire Department has a unique experience for residents 18 years of age and older. Shirley Macfarland, cleveland, "Feed the hungry with Empty Bowls: Talk of the Towns," 26 Dec. 2019

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

6 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Academy.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 18 January 2020.

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More Definitions for academy


How to pronounce academy (audio)

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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