uni·​verse | \ ˈyü-nə-ˌvərs How to pronounce universe (audio) \

Definition of universe

1 : the whole body of things and phenomena observed or postulated : cosmos: such as
a : a systematic whole held to arise by and persist through the direct intervention of divine power
b : the world of human experience
c(1) : the entire celestial cosmos
(3) : an aggregate of stars comparable to the Milky Way galaxy
2 : a distinct field or province of thought or reality that forms a closed system or self-inclusive and independent organization
4 : a set that contains all elements relevant to a particular discussion or problem
5 : a great number or quantity a large enough universe of stocks … to choose from— G. B. Clairmont

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Examples of universe in a Sentence

How many stars are there in the universe? It means more to me than anything else in the entire universe. She is convinced that parallel universes exist. He creates his own universe in his novels. New York City is the center of the publishing universe.
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Recent Examples on the Web Greenlighting a Superman show on the CW seems a bit head-scratching to most Arrowverse fans, given Supergirl’s place in the universe, and the general sense of winding down that has come over most of the remaining series. Paul Tassi, Forbes, "‘Superman And Lois’ Is Putting Up Huge Numbers For The CW, Season 2 Already Confirmed," 5 Mar. 2021 The momentum behind hydrogen—the most abundant element in the universe—makes sense. Katherine Dunn, Fortune, "‘It’s like LNG 40 years ago.’ Total and Iberdrola CEOs weigh the future of hydrogen," 4 Mar. 2021 The first episode also introduces another WandaVision motif: in-universe commercial breaks. Devan Coggan, EW.com, "All the WandaVision Easter eggs you may have missed, from sitcom references to comics callbacks," 4 Mar. 2021 Some experts and legislators say the missing puzzle piece could be hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe, which can be used as a zero-emission fuel for power plants, vehicles and machinery. Dustin Gardiner, San Francisco Chronicle, "California wastes its extra solar, wind energy. Could hydrogen be the storage key?," 19 Feb. 2021 But this is a very special chicken soup, and here’s why: Persian abgoosht-e morgh ba kofteh-ye nokhodchi — or chicken soup with chickpea and lamb meatballs — may be the most enchanting and elaborate chicken soup in the universe. Dallas News, "Persian chicken soup recipe with saffron, rose petals, and lamb meatballs," 4 Feb. 2021 Once in space, the telescope would be able to look back in time to see the oldest light in the universe, the formation of galaxies and planets beyond our solar system. Washington Post, "2021 could be a huge year for space. Here’s what’s to come from NASA, Elon Musk, Richard Branson and Jeff Bezos.," 30 Dec. 2020 The scientists studied an image of the oldest light in the universe to confirm its age of 13.8 billion years. Doyle Rice, USA TODAY, "The coronavirus vaccine wasn't the only amazing discovery: A look at all the ways science thrived in 2020," 22 Dec. 2020 With this instrument one of the most puzzling phenomena in the universe is receiving close study in cooperation with the big telescopes of the Mount Wilson observatory of the Carnegie Institute. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "The Wonders of Astronomy: The Cutting Edge Space Telescope...of 1939," 17 Dec. 2020

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

1589, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for universe

Middle English, from Latin universum, from neuter of universus entire, whole, from uni- + versus turned toward, from past participle of vertere to turn — more at worth

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Learn More about universe

Time Traveler for universe Time Traveler

The first known use of universe was in 1589

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Statistics for universe

Last Updated

7 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Universe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/universe. Accessed 9 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for universe



English Language Learners Definition of universe

: all of space and everything in it including stars, planets, galaxies, etc.
: an area of space or a world that is similar to but separate from the one that we live in
: the people, places, experiences, etc., that are associated with a particular person, place, or thing


uni·​verse | \ ˈyü-nə-ˌvərs How to pronounce universe (audio) \

Kids Definition of universe

: all created things including the earth and heavenly bodies viewed as making up one system

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