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 Her analysis of that data provided the first direct evidence for dark matter, which makes up most of the matter in the universe, but has never been observed. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, 9 June 2021 Most of the matter in the universe is dark, and despite searches for signatures of related elementary particles on the sky or in laboratory experiments, none were found so far. Avi Loeb, Scientific American, 6 June 2021 Belief in the idea that there is alien life somewhere in the universe appears to be growing. Karlyn Bowman, Forbes, 3 June 2021 One of the show’s innovations was to introduce a memorable series of in-universe commercials. Brian Hiatt, Rolling Stone, 1 June 2021 There's also a much larger universe of tech companies beyond those in the S&P 500. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, 30 May 2021 Even neutron stars, the densest collections of matter in the universe, might not be dense enough to produce some forms of exotic matter. Quanta Magazine, 26 May 2021 George Smith boasted that his hamburgers at Burgersmith’s on Bluewater Highway were the best in the universe and claimed that alien spacemen once landed a spaceship on the restaurant’s roof and came inside to eat. Peggy O Hare, San Antonio Express-News, 25 May 2021 Of all the electromagnetic waves in the universe, gamma rays have the smallest wavelengths and the most energy. Sam Mcneil, Star Tribune, 21 May 2021

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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Time Traveler for universe

Time Traveler

The first known use of universe was in 1589

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Statistics for universe

Last Updated

11 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Universe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/universe. Accessed 13 Jun. 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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