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 For decades, astronomers have attempted to piece together the mystery of how galaxies, stars and planets formed from an empty universe. Sophie Lewis, CBS News, "Astronomers discover ancient galaxy that formed more than 12 billion years ago," 20 May 2020 Last fall, Unwin co-authored a publication speculating that the mystery mass could be a petite black hole left over from the formation of the universe. Charlie Wood, Popular Science, "Planet Nine might not be a planet at all," 14 May 2020 Now So go ahead, and dust off your favorite fedora and get ready to time travel back to this captivating universe. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "Grab Your Fedora! Perry Mason Series Reboot Debuts on HBO This June," 17 Apr. 2020 In what now feels like a faded postcard from an antiquated universe, Senator Bernie Sanders was wrapping up one of his last, elbow-flailing rallies in front of a few thousand supporters at the University of Michigan. Mark Leibovich, New York Times, "Can Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden Unite the Democratic Party?," 9 Apr. 2020 But black holes do seem to remove information from the universe. Quanta Magazine, "Wormholes Reveal a Way to Manipulate Black Hole Information in the Lab," 27 Feb. 2020 The images Chandra produces contribute to a deeper and more expansive understanding of the universe. Anna Diamond, Smithsonian, "Chandra Telescope Observes Two Decades of Turning Theory Into Reality," 26 Nov. 2019 The low-frequency antennas observe radio emissions from pulsars—spinning neutron stars—and the epoch of reionization, when light from the universe’s first stars was ionizing the hydrogen in the space between galaxies. Dennis Normile, Science | AAAS, "Giant radio telescope array prepares to begin construction in Australia and South Africa," 25 Nov. 2019 The season ever so gradually builds up our sense of Clancy as an unreliable narrator-host, a melancholic escaping his own problems to play My Dinner With Pantheistic Andre in his own private universe. Darren Franich, EW.com, "The Midnight Gospel is a heartfelt cosmic masterpiece: Review," 7 May 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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Time Traveler for universe

Time Traveler

The first known use of universe was in 1589

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Statistics for universe

Last Updated

27 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Universe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/universe. Accessed 31 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for universe


How to pronounce universe (audio)

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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