sem·​i·​nary | \ ˈse-mə-ˌner-ē How to pronounce seminary (audio) \
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

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for seminary


academe, academy, school

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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

Just two days after the attack on Ansari, a 26-year-old Muslim teacher who taught in a religious seminary was thrown out of a train in the eastern state of West Bengal. Rana Ayyub, Time, "What a Rising Tide of Violence Against Muslims in India Says About Modi's Second Term," 28 June 2019 The lawsuit, filed in March and unsealed earlier this month, also names the Fort Worth seminary as a defendant. Tom Steele, Dallas News, "Woman sues Fort Worth seminary, former president she says told her being raped was 'a good thing'," 21 June 2019 Ipema’s first work after seminary was with the Christian organization Young Life. Bob Goldsborough,, "William Ipema, pastor who looked for new approaches to race relations and building urban communities, dies," 4 June 2019 Its first black faculty member, T. Vaughn Walker, joined the seminary in 1986. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Leaders of Southern Baptist seminary with slavery ties reject a call for reparations," 6 June 2019 Despite three older brothers who all bagged US college scholarships thanks to basketball, Siakam initially had little interest in the sport and attended a seminary to become a priest. Yomi Kazeem, Quartz Africa, "This emerging NBA star will make Cameroon fall in love with basketball," 31 May 2019 Brown pleaded guilty in 2004 to abusing two brothers in Maryland in the 1970s, while Brown was still a seminary student. Jeffrey Collins, The Seattle Times, "Former Catholic priest gets 20 years in child rape case," 23 Oct. 2018 The seminary's endowment is approximately $95 million, according to the school. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Leaders of Southern Baptist seminary with slavery ties reject a call for reparations," 6 June 2019 Jerry Brown left the seminary and became the governor of California, carrying his Teilhard with him. Garry Wills, Harper's magazine, "Shallow Calls to Shallow," 10 Apr. 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about seminary

Statistics for seminary

Last Updated

16 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for seminary

The first known use of seminary was in 1542

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for seminary



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 How to pronounce seminary (audio) \
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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


an act or instance of editing or removing

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What's that Smell?! Quiz

  • wide eyed dog smelling rose
  • Someone who is hircine smells like a:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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