noun, often attributive col·lege \ ˈkä-lij \
|Updated on: 16 Aug 2018

Definition of college

1 : a body of clergy living together and supported by a foundation
2 : a building used for an educational or religious purpose
3 a : a self-governing constituent body of a university offering living quarters and sometimes instruction but not granting degrees
  • Balliol and Magdalen Colleges at Oxford
called also residential college
b : a preparatory or high school
c : an independent institution of higher learning offering a course of general studies leading to a bachelor's degree
  • a liberal arts college
; also : a university division offering this
d : a part of a university offering a specialized group of courses
  • the university's college of pharmacy
e : an institution offering instruction usually in a professional, vocational, or technical field
  • business college
  • an embalming college
4 : company, group; specifically : an organized body of persons engaged in a common pursuit or having common interests or duties
  • a college of cardinals serving as papal councillors and electors
5 a : a group of persons considered by law to be a unit
b : a body of electors — compare electoral college
6 : the faculty, students, or administration of a college
  • The college was at the football game in force.

Examples of college in a Sentence

  1. She teaches art at a local college.

  2. He graduated from one of the country's best colleges.

  3. She attended a business college.

  4. He attended college for several years, but didn't graduate.

  5. She dropped out of college.

  6. I went to Mount Holyoke College.

  7. When I was a junior in college, I spent a semester in Spain.

  8. the Edinburgh College of Art

  9. the London College of Fashion

  10. She is attending fashion college.

Recent Examples of college from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'college.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of college

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin collegium society, from collega colleague — more at colleague

COLLEGE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of college for English Language Learners

  • : a school in the U.S. that you go to after high school : a school that offers courses leading to a degree (such as a bachelor's degree or an associate's degree)

  • : a part of an American university that offers courses in a specified subject

  • : a school in Britain that offers advanced training in a specified subject

COLLEGE Defined for Kids


noun col·lege \ ˈkä-lij \

Definition of college for Students

: a school that offers more advanced classes than a high school

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fullness to the point of excess

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