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

Silicon Valley, Afghanistan, U.S. universities; whether religion and politics can mix in a new democracy; and a breakthrough discovery on another planet. The Christian Science Monitor, "Nurturing our kids’ independence – with joy!," 13 Sep. 2019 Biden said, after ticking off some remaining sources of American strength (economic size, research universities, workplace productivity). Benjamin Wallace-wells, The New Yorker, "Can Joe Biden Remind Democrats What They Saw in Him?," 12 Sep. 2019 The debate — presented by ABC News in partnership Univision — will take place in Houston, Texas at Texas Southern University, a public, historically black university. Madeleine Carlisle, Time, "Democratic Debate Live: Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren and More Face Off in Houston," 12 Sep. 2019 Wheeler also said that EPA had awarded U.S.$4.25 million in grants to universities for research into alternative toxicity testing methods. Jeff Tollefson, Scientific American, "Scientists Are Concerned over U.S. Environmental Agency’s Plan to Limit Animal Research," 11 Sep. 2019 My university in Boston has Chinese students studying everything from physics to computer science to American politics. Jonathan Kaufman,, "Are Hong Kong protests a preview of China’s uncertain future?," 6 Sep. 2019 At elite universities, collegiate recovery programs can sometimes be seen as bad PR, experts say. Rebecca Tan, Longreads, "Paul Clarke Wants to Live," 3 Sep. 2019 The regents serve our university with care, skill and a heart for our mission. Steve Schering,, "Concordia announces departure of board member who allegedly made objectionable remarks on social media," 27 Aug. 2019 Next-door Algeria has ordered its universities to teach in English rather than French. The Economist, "A row over teaching in French has reopened old wounds in Morocco," 15 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for university

Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for university

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on university

Spanish Central: Translation of university

Nglish: Translation of university for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on university

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


concealment of treason or felony

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