uni·​ver·​si·​ty | \ˌyü-nə-ˈvər-sə-tē, -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

The 2,000-year-old work has been in the university’s collection since the 1500s, when it was acquired from a lawyer and art collector named Basilius Amerbach. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "After 500 years, a UV lamp solves the mystery of the Basel Papyrus," 19 July 2018 Third-year Maryland football coach DJ Durkin was present at the May 29 workout when redshirt freshman offensive lineman Jordan McNair was hospitalized, according to a summary of events released by the university Thursday. Don Markus,, "DJ Durkin was at workout where Jordan McNair was carted off, according to summary released by Maryland," 12 July 2018 Backers of SDSU West point to an economic study put out by the university that said its annual economic impact on the region is $5.67 billion. Phillip Molnar,, "Taxpayers association says SoccerCity has bigger tax benefit to city," 12 July 2018 White, the Princeton engineer, leads the university's Sustainable Cements Group, which is working on ways to eliminate the need for clinker altogether. Chelsea Harvey, Scientific American, "Cement Producers Are Developing a Plan to Reduce CO2 Emissions," 9 July 2018 In the university, founded in 1290, left-wing students warned that a group of hard-right students were espousing the works of Julius Evola, the spiritual and intellectual godfather of Italian fascists and Italy’s post-fascist terrorists. Jason Horowitz,, "Migrants were welcome in Macerata, before a murder," 7 July 2018 The argument comes in a response filed by the university to a lawsuit by two former players who had their sports eliminated. David Jesse, Detroit Free Press, "Eastern Michigan University: Court can't force us to restart cut teams," 3 July 2018 The changes include incorporating some buildings that are owned and used by the university into the campus plan. Steve Lord, Aurora Beacon-News, "City Council OKs new plans for Aurora University, West Plaza," 29 June 2018 Photo: Patrick Semansky/Associated Press State governors appoint most boards at public universities. Rachel Bachman, WSJ, "When Scandals Hit Campus, College Boards Rarely Get Hurt," 9 Nov. 2018

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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27 Nov 2018

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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 \
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

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


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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