college

noun

col·​lege ˈkä-lij How to pronounce college (audio)
often attributive
1
: a body of clergy living together and supported by a foundation
2
: a building used for an educational or religious purpose
3
a
: a self-governing constituent body of a university offering living quarters and sometimes instruction but not granting degrees
Balliol and Magdalen Colleges at Oxford

called also residential college

b
: a preparatory or high school
c
: an independent institution of higher learning offering a course of general studies leading to a bachelor's degree
a liberal arts college
also : a university division offering this
d
: a part of a university offering a specialized group of courses
the university's college of pharmacy
e
: an institution offering instruction usually in a professional, vocational, or technical field
business college
an embalming college
4
: company, group
specifically : an organized body of persons engaged in a common pursuit or having common interests or duties
a college of cardinals serving as papal councillors and electors
5
a
: a group of persons considered by law to be a unit
b
: a body of electors compare electoral college
6
: the faculty, students, or administration of a college
The college was at the football game in force.

Example Sentences

She teaches art at a local college. He graduated from one of the country's best colleges. She attended a business college. He attended college for several years, but didn't graduate. She dropped out of college. I went to Mount Holyoke College. When I was a junior in college, I spent a semester in Spain. the Edinburgh College of Art the London College of Fashion She is attending fashion college. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Below is the college football TV and live stream schedule for Week 13 of the 2022 season. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, 21 Nov. 2022 How does Mark Stoops' extension compare to others in SEC, college football? Ryan Black, The Courier-Journal, 21 Nov. 2022 The veteran Colts safety played his college football at Virginia, the program and campus rocked this week by the Nov. 13 shooting that claimed the lives of three Cavaliers and injured two more Virginia students, including another football player. The Indianapolis Star, 21 Nov. 2022 From the archives: Ryan Stevens Who doesn’t have fun being a graduate student and playing college football? Former Chaminade quarterback Ryan Stevens is doing just that at Johns Hopkins. Eric Sondheimer Columnist Follow, Los Angeles Times, 21 Nov. 2022 The eyes of college football will still be on Columbus on Saturday. Nathan Baird, cleveland, 20 Nov. 2022 Saturday turned into survival of the fittest in college football. Matt Murschel, Orlando Sentinel, 20 Nov. 2022 Hall turns 25 years old in March and is playing his fifth year of college football. Kevin Reynolds, The Salt Lake Tribune, 20 Nov. 2022 The Beavers — like every team in college football — want to be playing our best ball at the end of the season. oregonlive, 20 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'college.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin collegium society, from collega colleague — more at colleague

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near college

Cite this Entry

“College.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/college. Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

college

noun

col·​lege ˈkäl-ij How to pronounce college (audio)
1
: a building used for an educational or religious purpose
2
a
: a self-governing body of a university offering living quarters and instruction but not granting degrees
Balliol College at Oxford
b
: a school higher than a high school
c
: an independent institution offering a course of general studies leading to a bachelor's degree
also : a university division offering this
3
: an organized body of persons having common interests or duties
the college of cardinals

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