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 discounted memberships for YouTube Premium and YouTube Music are available for college and university students in the United States. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "YouTube is offering discounted Premium, Music subscriptions to students," 27 Nov. 2018 Not all colleges and universities off these, however, and some only apply during the school year. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Heads Up: You Can Still Sign Up for Obamacare and Open Enrollment Is Going On Right Now," 14 Nov. 2018 The online store has sweatshirts from over 50 colleges and universities for as low as $25. Lindsey Murray, Good Housekeeping, "E5 College Sweatshirts Are 50% off on Amazon Right Now," 10 Aug. 2018 In 2013, colleges and universities in the United States received $129 million in real estate gifts and the following year dipped to $108 million for 281 real estate. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "These donors love their alma maters so much they gave them the roofs over their heads," 13 July 2018 But turning apprenticeships into degrees has been a success: around 100 colleges and universities are now offering the option. The Economist, "A welcome upgrade to apprenticeships," 12 July 2018 The number of education majors in Pennsylvania colleges and universities has dropped 55 percent since 1996, officials said., "The teacher supply is plummeting. Pa. will spend $2M to stem the tide," 12 July 2018 This was not the first time that leaders of historically black colleges and universities have convened for a summit at the Human Rights Campaign’s offices. Sarah Larimer, Washington Post, "For second year, leaders of HBCUs gather to discuss LGBT inclusion," 12 July 2018 There are many ways for individuals, nonprofits, businesses, and colleges and universities to become involved. Kitty Leshay, Courant Community, "Sustainable CT: A Helping Hand To Vibrant Communities," 10 July 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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Last Updated

11 Dec 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).


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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