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


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

Most top footballers rise through professional club academies with access to great facilities and coaching. Kanishk Tharoor, The Atlantic, "The Elusive Underdog Magic of the World Cup," 14 July 2018 The riding academy teaches new motorcyclists how to safely and properly ride their motorcycles. Adriana Ramirez, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Oconomowoc Harley-Davidson continues construction on in-house training course," 13 July 2018 Musicians attend academy Three Naperville musicians studied this summer at the Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Wisconsin. Michelle Mullins, Naperville Sun, "Naperville People in the News," 13 July 2018 Yes, television academy members do repeat themselves. Glenn Whipp,, "Emmy snubs and surprises: New faces are in, old institutions are out and Sandra Oh makes history," 12 July 2018 Methods at club academies were overhauled, a squadron of coaches trained, specialist schools opened. Rory Smith, New York Times, "Belgium’s Blueprint, Croatia’s Chaos, and the Murky Path to World Cup Glory," 10 July 2018 The academy’s annual junior tennis tournament will also be held at Andrew on July 20 and 21. Staff Report, Daily Southtown, "Sports calendar," 10 July 2018 He was eventually accepted into the academy himself. 2. Katherine Fominykh,, "Five things to know about Riverdale's tennis phenom, Frances Tiafoe," 7 July 2018 The cadets also managed to secure the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy — awarded annually to the winner of a three-game series among the service academies — for the first time since 1996. Matt Murschel,, "Army on verge of third straight winning season, Black Knights No. 55 in 2018 preseason college football rankings," 2 July 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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Learn More about academy

Phrases Related to academy

Academy Award

Statistics for academy

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

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).


not any or not one

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