sem·i·nary | \ ˈse-mə-ˌner-ē \
plural seminaries

Definition of seminary 

1 : an environment in which something originates and from which it is propagated a seminary of vice and crime

2a : an institution of secondary or higher education

b : an institution for the training of candidates for the priesthood, ministry, or rabbinate

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Synonyms for seminary


academy, school

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Examples of seminary in a Sentence

a seminary exclusively for women some claimed that orphanages were seminaries of sin and petty crime, turning out juvenile delinquents by the score

Recent Examples on the Web

The Cuban Council of Churches said that the victims also included a group of 18 people who had traveled to a seminary in Havana. New York Times, "Hand-Me-Down Plane That Crashed Reflects a Cuban Air Industry in Crisis," 19 May 2018 Somehow the $229,000 set aside to restore a Camden home where Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. lived as a young seminary student was diverted to the city’s fire department, so now a Superior Court judge is asking questions. Aubrey Nagle,, "Trump exits Iran deal, Pa. prepares for primaries | Morning Newsletter," 9 May 2018 That’s one area where the Mormon church really succeeds, Cox and Peterson agreed, with missions for young members and youth-focused seminary classes and wards. Nicole Blanchard, idahostatesman, "‘The Mormon exception’: Idaho’s largest religion bucks trends affecting Christianity," 12 July 2018 Michal Amar, who conducted research in both neuroscience and robotics, plans to go to Israel at a seminary before attending the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology on a scholarship. Marvin Glassman, Jewish Journal, "Katz Yeshiva graduates its largest senior class," 14 June 2018 Mahsud, 40, studied at a number of religious seminaries in Pakistan to specialize in different fields of religious teaching. Washington Post, "Pakistani Taliban choose new chief in place of Fazlullah," 23 June 2018 Perhaps the best lesson is that the White House should avoid becoming a seminary. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Imprisoning kids is ... biblical?," 15 June 2018 The topics on the first official day of the Southern Baptists’ annual meeting Tuesday spanned from the fate of a seminary's trustee board to whether to withdraw an invitation to Vice President Mike Pence. Sarah Smith, star-telegram, "Do politics belong in Southern Baptist Convention? Some say vice president's visit too divisive," 12 June 2018 He was ordained a priest in 1958 after attending seminaries in nearby countries and became archbishop of Managua in 1970. Stephen Kinzer,, "Miguel Obando y Bravo, 92, key figure in Nicaraguan turmoil," 4 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'seminary.' 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 seminary

1542, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for seminary

Middle English, seedbed, nursery, from Latin seminarium, from semin-, semen seed

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Statistics for seminary

Last Updated

10 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for seminary

The first known use of seminary was in 1542

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English Language Learners Definition of seminary

: a school for training religious leaders (such as priests, ministers, and rabbis)


sem·i·nary | \ ˈse-mə-ˌner-ē \
plural seminaries

Kids Definition of seminary

1 : a private school at or above the high school level

2 : a school for the training of priests, ministers, or rabbis

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Comments on seminary

What made you want to look up seminary? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a magnificent or impressive array

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