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

Good Times’ and ‘Maude.’ ‘Happy Days’ begat ‘Laverne & Shirley’ and ‘Mork & Mindy.’ Done well, these shows expand the universe of beloved characters. Amber Dowling, chicagotribune.com, "Franchises like ‘Black-ish,’ ’911,' ‘Chicago P.D.’ building bigger TV universes," 12 Aug. 2019 For five years, the Los Angeles artist has been making and collecting mock album covers that fuse the wildly different universes of popular music and conceptual art. Los Angeles Times, "Gary Cannone’s parody album covers give conceptual art the heavy metal treatment," 2 Aug. 2019 Phase 4 looks to explore that universe even further, while also venturing into some previously unexplored corners. Devan Coggan, EW.com, "Here are all Marvel's upcoming Phase 4 movies and TV shows," 22 July 2019 Roose followed Caleb Cain, a college dropout who turned to YouTube for information, but instead got sucked into a far-right universe of conspiracy theories, thanks in part to the platform's powerful algorithm. Laney Pope, CNN, "How did the NYT's Kevin Roose crack YouTube's algorithm? By watching a YouTube video," 14 June 2019 That said, online banking does open a whole universe of security risks. Kim Komando, USA TODAY, "20 everyday tasks that nobody does anymore," 13 June 2019 But there is that hum in the universe of earlier American social thought that bespeaks another kind of meaning than Progressive history seems ready to admit. Marilynne Robinson, Harper's magazine, "Is Poverty Necessary?," 10 June 2019 Viazovska, Cohn and their collaborators restricted their attention to the universe of repulsive forces. Quanta Magazine, "Out of a Magic Math Function, One Solution to Rule Them All," 13 May 2019 There is also graffiti in the Spanish Diner by Mikel Urmeneta, a Basque artist with a rich universe of characters that are like pets that populate space. Vanessa Lawrence, ELLE Decor, "A Mecca of Spanish Design and Food Opens in New York," 3 Apr. 2019

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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Statistics for universe

Last Updated

20 Aug 2019

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Time Traveler for universe

The first known use of universe was in 1589

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on universe

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with universe

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for universe

Spanish Central: Translation of universe

Nglish: Translation of universe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of universe for Arabic Speakers

Comments on universe

What made you want to look up universe? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move or obtain by small maneuvers

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