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

Synonyms for seminary


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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 There was no one who contended or cried out, or drew attention to what was going on, but by degrees the woody swamp became a hermitage, a religious house, a farm, an abbey, a village, a seminary, a school of learning, and a city. Andrew Doran, National Review, 3 Mar. 2022 One esteemed teacher at Yeshiva University’s rabbinical seminary, Rabbi Hershel Schachter, wrote an open letter deeming Rabbi Krauss unqualified to render such decisions and calling the rabbinical court’s rulings invalid. New York Times, 14 Feb. 2022 During his brief time at the seminary, Johnson had studied Latin and Greek. Washington Post, 8 Feb. 2022 Founded in 1834, the university was the first seminary in the U.S. to welcome female students, the first to establish a center for Muslim-Christian relations and the first to start an Islamic chaplaincy program. Seamus Mcavoy,, 13 Oct. 2021 Here was an ivory-tower man-bites-dog tale that elicited some context about the ascendancy of secularism, both at a particular institution (one founded, almost four centuries ago, essentially as a seminary) and in the culture at large. Nick Paumgarte, The New Yorker, 11 Sep. 2021 Until last year, John Henry Newman, as he is known by his baptismal name, was studying to become a priest at a Roman Catholic seminary in Yangon. New York Times, 30 Mar. 2022 At 17, Stanislavskyy left his home country for Connecticut to study at St. Basil College, a seminary in Stamford for Ukrainian Catholics. Seamus Mcavoy,, 11 Mar. 2022 Ruiz attended high school in Illinois at a minor Franciscan seminary named St. Joseph’s. Elaine Ayala, San Antonio Express-News, 18 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for seminary

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The first known use of seminary was in 1542

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Dictionary Entries Near seminary



seminary priest

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Last Updated

27 Apr 2022

Cite this Entry

“Seminary.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for seminary


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

More from Merriam-Webster on seminary

Nglish: Translation of seminary for Spanish Speakers

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


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