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

Since its founding in Kyoto, Japan, five years ago, Shiru has opened 16 stores in Japan and four in India, all of which are located near major universities. Graham Ambrose,, "Free coffee — with a catch — is coming to Massachusetts," 14 July 2018 The event is consistent with those of local universities and cultural groups which have become annual events at Comerica Park. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers offer 'Pride Pack' tickets in support of LGBT community," 8 July 2018 Notably, most of the top 10 cities in the rankings are small- to medium-sized with universities. Tony Bizjak, sacbee, "This Sacramento-area city is the safest in the country for cyclists," 3 July 2018 The university repainted the walls, added new carpeting, spruced up the landscaping and put it on the market this spring for $2.8 million. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "These donors love their alma maters so much they gave them the roofs over their heads," 13 July 2018 Randy Dunn is out as president of Southern Illinois University, bookending a wild stretch of controversy and animosity at the two-campus system, the university announced late Friday. Dawn Rhodes,, "Southern Illinois University president ousted amid swirling controversy," 13 July 2018 That training is part of a five-year grant the university first received three years ago. Annie Martin,, "New UCF police chief talks about preventing shootings, sex crimes," 13 July 2018 It is not known if the student is still enrolled at the university. Raisa Habersham, ajc, "Georgia State University student charged in on-campus rape," 12 July 2018 Schnatter was appointed to the Board of Trustees by Gov. Matt Bevin but has long been a fixture at, and financial backer of, the university. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Papa John’s founder resigns as chairman after using a racial slur on a call," 12 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

16 Oct 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).


a state of commotion or excitement

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