uni·​ver·​si·​ty | \ ˌyü-nə-ˈvər-sə-tē How to pronounce university (audio) , -ˈvər-stē \
plural universities

Definition of university

1 : an institution of higher learning providing facilities for teaching and research and authorized to grant academic degrees specifically : one made up of an undergraduate division which confers bachelor's degrees and a graduate division which comprises a graduate school and professional schools each of which may confer master's degrees and doctorates
2 : the physical plant of a university

Examples of university in a Sentence

I applied to several public universities. He lives near the university.
Recent Examples on the Web All will remain at the university hospital for at least 14 days. Author: Marilynn Marchione, Anchorage Daily News, "Chinese health report says 80% of virus cases have been mild," 18 Feb. 2020 As for colleges, many will stay in session, so students should check their university website. Alicia Lee, CNN, "Presidents Day 2020: What's open and closed," 17 Feb. 2020 Avenatti told Nike representatives that a client of his had evidence the corporation paid out large sums of money to college recruits to secure their commitment to select universities. Tim Pearce, Washington Examiner, "'Scumbag': Ben Sasse rips Michael Avenatti after guilty verdict in Nike case," 14 Feb. 2020 The reality is much more prosaic: Organizations and universities around the world collect and study seeds of all kinds, and sometimes these facilities are destroyed, damaged, or just tainted. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "There's an Eerie Doomsday Vault That Stores All the World's Seeds," 12 Feb. 2020 However, a new crop of credible private universities, with an eye on global trends in pedagogy, have peppered India’s education landscape lately. Quartz India, "Ashok Jhunjhunwala on the jobs that will define India’s future," 11 Feb. 2020 The department’s new rules would go further, adding definitions for domestic violence, dating violence and stalking as misconduct that universities must tackle or risk federal investigations and a loss of funding. New York Times, "New Campus Sexual Misconduct Rules Will Tackle Dating Violence," 10 Feb. 2020 Just as universities remind students to lock their dorm-room doors, civic education will teach us how to obscure our identities so we can’t be traced online. Jonathan Zittrain, The Atlantic, "We May Have No Privacy, But Things Can Always Get Worse," 7 Feb. 2020 In addition, most universities are incapable of running their yearly academic programmes. Mulugeta G Berhe (phd), Quartz Africa, "Ethiopia’s dramatic political and economic transformation has left it with deep uncertainty," 3 Feb. 2020

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

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for university

Middle English universite, from Anglo-French université, from Medieval Latin universitat-, universitas, from Latin universus

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Time Traveler for university

Time Traveler

The first known use of university was in the 14th century

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Last Updated

20 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“University.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for university


How to pronounce university (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of university

: a school that offers courses leading to a degree (such as a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree) and where research is done


uni·​ver·​si·​ty | \ ˌyü-nə-ˈvər-sə-tē How to pronounce university (audio) \
plural universities

Kids Definition of university

: an institution of higher learning that gives degrees in special fields and where research is performed

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Spanish Central: Translation of university

Nglish: Translation of university for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of university for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about university

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