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

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Synonyms for seminary


academe, 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

On Wednesday, Tsipras is scheduled to visit an Orthodox theological seminary on an island off Istanbul, becoming the first serving Greek prime minister to do so. Suzan Fraser, The Seattle Times, "Turkey, Greece stress need for dialogue," 5 Feb. 2019 Critics also included gay rights activists concerned that Dumas' previous role as an executive with the Baptist seminary would influence his views toward gay couples as adoptive parents. Deborah Yetter, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky's 'adoption czar' is gone 7 months after Gov. Bevin gave him a $240,000-a-year job," 16 Jan. 2018 Neither did representatives for the seminary and for Patterson. Julie Zauzmer, Washington Post, "Angry donors threaten to withhold money from seminary that fired Paige Patterson," 4 July 2018 The seminary, which trained Orthodox church leaders, has been closed since 1971, despite calls on the Turkish government to reopen it. Suzan Fraser, The Seattle Times, "Turkey, Greece stress need for dialogue," 5 Feb. 2019 These homosexual networks, which are now widespread in many dioceses, seminaries, religious orders, etc. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, "The Tense Debate Over Gay Priests," 17 Jan. 2019 The story was published as the seminary's board was meeting. The Washington Post,, "Prominent Southern Baptist leader removed after remarks about abused women," 23 May 2018 Nashotah House sold the land to Gehl in 2016 as the seminary shifted its focus solely to education. Jordyn Noennig, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Gehl Farms threatens to sell nearly 400 acres in Nashotah and Delafield after municipalities change manure spreading laws," 25 June 2018 The seminary is also coping with changes in theological education and religious practice and commitment that are remaking faith life. Kristin E. Holmes,, "Lutheran seminary gets a heavenly bequest of $30 million," 30 May 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

26 Mar 2019

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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 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

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Comments on seminary

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using a distributed computer network

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