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

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
3a : 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
5a : 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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web The plan was a two-week jaunt with his best friend from college to Brussels, Amsterdam, Paris and Berlin. Helen Carefoot, Washington Post, 22 Sep. 2022 Like many fans of Thompson's life and work, Milliken was first introduced to the author while in college. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, 22 Sep. 2022 After working on building the company for several months, Aviv launched SparkCharge while in college. Jasmine Browley, Essence, 22 Sep. 2022 Four of Laughlin’s five children have worked at Carr at some point in their lives; one joined the company full-time after graduating from college. oregonlive, 21 Sep. 2022 Olszewski morphing from college defensive back to All-Pro punt returner, whose carefree style often gave Meyers pause for concern. Jim Mcbride,, 17 Sep. 2022 Among my closest group of girlfriends from college, four out of the five of us have taken spironolactone at some point in our lives. Sophie Vershbow, Allure, 15 Sep. 2022 Some change is planned, like graduating from college, switching jobs, or moving to a new house, but oftentimes these life-altering moments are unexpected. Leah Hall, Country Living, 13 Sep. 2022 Her mother begged her not to return from college in Atlanta, but Coley-Pearson wanted to fight for the people of Coffee County, too. Annie Waldman, ProPublica, 12 Sep. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of college

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for college

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

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Last Updated

25 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“College.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Oct. 2022.

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More Definitions for college


col·​lege | \ ˈkä-lij How to pronounce college (audio) \

Kids Definition of college

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

More from Merriam-Webster on college

Nglish: Translation of college for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of college for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about college


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