var·​si·​ty | \ ˈvär-sə-tē How to pronounce varsity (audio) , -stē\
plural varsities

Definition of varsity

1a : the principal squad representing a university, college, school, or club especially in a sport
2 British : university

Examples of varsity in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Julian, who was called up to the varsity team at the end of his sophomore season, has felt the sting of two straight state title-game losses. Glenn Graham,, "River Hill’s Elguera twins hope to cap varsity soccer careers with titles — and celebrate Argentinian style," 11 Sep. 2019 When Fisher was a freshman at Katy High School, his coach pulled him up to the varsity team during its state championship run. Joan Niesen,, "Already a Star for Northwestern, Paddy Fisher Is Just Getting Started," 30 Aug. 2019 Now in its fifth season as a program, Providence will fully compete on the varsity level with new coach Sherith Lewis at the helm. Vincent Nguyenstaff Writer, Burbank Leader, "Girls’ Tennis Preview: Plenty to look forward to for trio of teams," 21 Aug. 2019 Obama wore the jersey during his senior year at Punahou School in Honolulu as a member of the 1979 Hawaii State Champion boys' varsity basketball team. Allen Kim, CNN, "President Obama's high school basketball jersey nets $120,000 at auction," 19 Aug. 2019 Like many teams, the Centurions’ fate rests in how quickly younger players adjust to the varsity level. Don Norcross, San Diego Union-Tribune, "2019 Eastern League prep football preview," 17 Aug. 2019 Last fall, the lengthy, rangy athlete made the varsity team as a cornerback and defined himself as a defensive back., "Patrick Hisatake, 2021 Clackamas athlete, emerging as prospect, hearing from Oregon Ducks, Oregon State Beavers," 12 Aug. 2019 The 17-year-old Dunbar Senior High School student and linebacker on the varsity football team wrote about the hypocrisy of a divided city, and the affluent who do not travel in the desperate neighborhoods inhabited by people like him. Peter Hermann, Washington Post, "In the weeks before he was killed, he wrote a poem. ‘In D.C., it’s nothing but people trying to take your life away’," 23 July 2019 This might be news even to Michigan and Ohio State fans, but these two schools compete at the varsity level in sports other than football. Rachel Bachman, WSJ, "The School That Really Owns Ohio State-Michigan," 22 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'varsity.' 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 varsity

1646, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for varsity

by shortening from university (with regular late Middle English opening of tautosyllabic er to ar)

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Statistics for varsity

Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for varsity

The first known use of varsity was in 1646

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More Definitions for varsity



English Language Learners Definition of varsity

US : the main team of a college, school, or club in a particular sport


var·​si·​ty | \ ˈvär-sə-tē How to pronounce varsity (audio) \
plural varsities

Kids Definition of varsity

: the main team that represents a school or club in contests

More from Merriam-Webster on varsity

Spanish Central: Translation of varsity

Nglish: Translation of varsity for Spanish Speakers

Comments on varsity

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


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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