1

universal

adjective uni·ver·sal \ ˌyü-nə-ˈvər-səl \
|Updated on: 17 Jul 2018
1 : including or covering all or a whole collectively or distributively without limit or exception; especially : available equitably to all members of a society
  • universal health coverage
2 a : present or occurring everywhere
b : existent or operative everywhere or under all conditions
  • universal cultural patterns
3 a : embracing a major part or the greatest portion (as of humankind)
  • a universal state
  • universal practices
b : comprehensively broad and versatile
  • a universal genius
4 a : affirming or denying something of all members of a class or of all values of a variable
b : denoting every member of a class
  • a universal term
5 : adapted or adjustable to meet varied requirements (as of use, shape, or size)
  • a universal gear cutter
  • a universal remote control

universally

play \ˌyü-nə-ˈvər-s(ə-)lē\ adverb

universalness

play \ˌyü-nə-ˈvər-səl-nəs\ noun

Examples of universal in a Sentence

  1. an idea with universal appeal

  2. a pattern that is universal across all cultures

Recent Examples of universal from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'universal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of universal

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin universalis, from universum universe

2

universal

noun
1 : one that is universal: such as
a : a universal proposition in logic
b : a predicable of traditional logic
c : a general concept or term or something in reality to which it corresponds : essence
2 a : a behavior pattern or institution (such as the family) existing in all cultures
b : a culture trait characteristic of all normal adult members of a particular society

Recent Examples of universal from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'universal.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of universal

15th century

in the meaning defined at sense 1

See Words from the same year
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UNIVERSAL Defined for English Language Learners

universal

  • : done or experienced by everyone : existing or available for everyone

  • : existing or true at all times or in all places


UNIVERSAL Defined for Kids

universal

adjective uni·ver·sal \ ˌyü-nə-ˈvər-səl \
1 : including, covering, or taking in all or everything
  • universal medical care
2 : present or happening everywhere
  • universal celebration

universally

adverb

Law Dictionary

universal

adjective uni·ver·sal \ ˌyü-nə-ˈvər-səl \
1 in the civil law of Louisiana
a : encompassing or burdening all of one's property especially causa mortis
  • granted him a universal usufruct
— see also universal legacy at legacy — compare universal title at title
b : of or relating to a universal conveyance or a conveyance under a universal title
  • a universal donee
— see also universal successor
2 : not confined by limitations or exceptions : general in application

universally

adverb


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