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 Reynolds is also the director of the Environment, Exposure Science and Risk Assessment Center at the university. Kimi Robinson, The Arizona Republic, "Here's how to carefully celebrate the spring holidays as more Arizonans get vaccinated," 27 Mar. 2021 After The Times exposed his troubled history at the university three years ago, the 74-year-old was stripped of his medical license and arrested. Los Angeles Times, "Essential California: Vaccines for all residents 16 and up," 26 Mar. 2021 Not all were made through his employment at the university. NBC News, "USC agrees to $1.1 billion in settlement with hundreds of women alleging abuse by gynecologist," 25 Mar. 2021 The Asian American community at the university buzzed with apprehension that no one was safe from unfounded accusations. Alicia Lai, Scientific American, "Prosecuting Asian American Scientists for Espionage Is a Shortsighted Strategy," 22 Mar. 2021 But different organizations at the university raised funds for them, Alvarez said. USA Today, "A year after COVID shut schools, students and teachers share what shook them — and what strengthened them," 21 Mar. 2021 Krystal McCain, 29, found that both of her jobs—working as an activities coordinator at a university and waitressing on the side—were affected by the pandemic. WSJ, "A Year Without Student-Loan Payments," 20 Mar. 2021 In 1985 he was awarded a Ph.D. and remained at the university as a research scientist. Marty Judge Community Voices Contributor, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Opinion: How a scholar of ‘bad origins’ overcame a communist system to teach capitalist skills in U.S.," 20 Mar. 2021 When he was hired, Dr. Driver was the first person of color to be employed in any capacity at university. Philip Marcelo, The Christian Science Monitor, "What would Black reparations look like in Amherst, Mass.?," 10 Mar. 2021

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

1 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“University.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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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

Nglish: Translation of university for Spanish Speakers

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

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