college

noun

col·​lege ˈkä-lij How to pronounce college (audio)
often attributive
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

She teaches art at a local college. He graduated from one of the country's best colleges. She attended a business college. He attended college for several years, but didn't graduate. She dropped out of college. I went to Mount Holyoke College. When I was a junior in college, I spent a semester in Spain. the Edinburgh College of Art the London College of Fashion She is attending fashion college.
Recent Examples on the Web The Saturday of a Coachella weekend is a lot like junior year of college. Paul Albani-Burgio, USA TODAY, 14 Apr. 2024 In college, Sheline decided to study media, conflict resolution, and Arabic. Keith Gessen, The New Yorker, 13 Apr. 2024 The two had met in college at Winona State University. Peter Van Sant, CBS News, 13 Apr. 2024 The stars of the movie series — which follows the lives and antics of the Barden Bellas, a college a cappella group — are reuniting for their upcoming movie, Bride Hard, and taking the opportunity to troll fans of the franchise. Bailey Richards, Peoplemag, 13 Apr. 2024 What’s your advice for those who are coming up through this relatively new era of college athletes being allowed to accept endorsements through name image and likeness (NIL) deals? Vanessa Perdomo, Fortune, 12 Apr. 2024 Known as Robin, he was born in Montreal and was hired for CBC radio productions while still in college. Jack Dunn, Variety, 12 Apr. 2024 For her and many others with ADHD, Adderall is much more than a recreational drug or a study aid that helps a college kid pull an all-nighter, as some stereotypes may suggest. Deidre McPhillips, CNN, 2 Apr. 2024 This is the month her adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People opens, directed by her husband, Sam Gold, and starring her old college friend Jeremy Strong. Chloe Schama, Vogue, 2 Apr. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'college.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of college was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near college

Cite this Entry

“College.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/college. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

college

noun
col·​lege ˈkäl-ij How to pronounce college (audio)
1
: a building used for an educational or religious purpose
2
a
: a self-governing body of a university offering living quarters and instruction but not granting degrees
Balliol College at Oxford
b
: a school higher than a high school
c
: an independent institution offering a course of general studies leading to a bachelor's degree
also : a university division offering this
3
: an organized body of persons having common interests or duties
the college of cardinals

More from Merriam-Webster on college

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!