uni·​ver·​si·​ty ˌyü-nə-ˈvər-sə-tē How to pronounce university (audio)
plural universities
: 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
: 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 federal government, meanwhile, has opened civil rights investigations into seven schools and universities over allegations of antisemitism or Islamophobia since the outbreak of the Israel-Hamas war. Bradford Betz, Fox News, 21 Nov. 2023 Students in the few official rural clubs are trying to expand those opportunities to more universities and colleges. Matt Krupnick, Los Angeles Times, 20 Nov. 2023 The federal government opened discrimination investigations into half a dozen universities, including Columbia and Cornel, after there were complaints about antisemitic and anti-Muslim harassment. Roger Cohen, New York Times, 20 Nov. 2023 Wreaths will be laid at the university before the motorcade continues to the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum in Atlanta, where the former first lady will lie in repose for several hours. Alexandra Hutzler, ABC News, 20 Nov. 2023 As the nation’s largest university, ASU specializes in everything from education and computer science to biotechnology and entrepreneurship. Gary Robbins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 17 Nov. 2023 All of this has led to real money in terms of ticket sales for the university and brand endorsements for the team’s top players, whose followings continue to explode. Taylor Lorenz, Washington Post, 17 Nov. 2023 Florida’s university system, joined by Gov. Ron DeSantis, last month ordered colleges to shut down chapters of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), a group at the center of U.S. campus activism since Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7. Gabriella Borter, The Christian Science Monitor, 17 Nov. 2023 The university's review determined that the call originated from an Oklahoma number and there is no connection to the UConn community or the state itself. NBC News, 10 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'university.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near university

Cite this Entry

“University.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


uni·​ver·​si·​ty ˌyü-nə-ˈvər-sət-ē How to pronounce university (audio)
plural universities
: a school that offers courses leading to a degree (as a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree) and where research is done

More from Merriam-Webster on university

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