uni·​verse | \ ˈyü-nə-ˌvərs How to pronounce universe (audio) \

Definition of universe

1 : the whole body of things and phenomena observed or postulated : cosmos: such as
a : a systematic whole held to arise by and persist through the direct intervention of divine power
b : the world of human experience
c(1) : the entire celestial cosmos
(3) : an aggregate of stars comparable to the Milky Way galaxy
2 : a distinct field or province of thought or reality that forms a closed system or self-inclusive and independent organization
4 : a set that contains all elements relevant to a particular discussion or problem
5 : a great number or quantity a large enough universe of stocks … to choose from— G. B. Clairmont

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Examples of universe in a Sentence

How many stars are there in the universe? It means more to me than anything else in the entire universe. She is convinced that parallel universes exist. He creates his own universe in his novels. New York City is the center of the publishing universe.
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Recent Examples on the Web My association with the Monster Cereals opened many doors in the universe. Pat Giles, Fortune, 18 Oct. 2021 Bruce’s speech plays under footage of Barry returning to his home, where his mother (Maribel Verdú) is still alive — but in Barry’s universe, his mother was killed, and his father was wrongfully convicted of the crime. Adam B. Vary, Variety, 16 Oct. 2021 Magnetars are dense stars, about the size of a city like Chicago or Atlanta, with the strongest magnetic fields found in the universe. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 14 Oct. 2021 Second, most astrobiological work focuses on tiny microbial life, both elsewhere in the universe and here on Earth because, statistically, that’s the most prevalent kind. Lewis Gordon, Wired, 13 Oct. 2021 Some estimates put as many as 75 percent of the stars in the universe as M dwarfs, and each can shine for hundreds of billions—even trillions—of years. Nola Taylor Tillman, Scientific American, 11 Oct. 2021 In this universe, they were beaten out by Tom Jones, Lulu, Sheena Easton, Turner, and Sheryl Crow. Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, 7 Oct. 2021 Little Will, while Anderson talked to me about basically everything in the universe. New York Times, 6 Oct. 2021 An international team of scientists studies the neutrino, the most common yet least understood particle in the universe, in this new episode of the documentary series. Los Angeles Times, 6 Oct. 2021

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

1589, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for universe

Middle English, from Latin universum, from neuter of universus entire, whole, from uni- + versus turned toward, from past participle of vertere to turn — more at worth

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Time Traveler for universe

Time Traveler

The first known use of universe was in 1589

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Dictionary Entries Near universe

universal vise


universe of discourse

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Statistics for universe

Last Updated

21 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Universe.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/universe. Accessed 21 Oct. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of universe

: all of space and everything in it including stars, planets, galaxies, etc.
: an area of space or a world that is similar to but separate from the one that we live in
: the people, places, experiences, etc., that are associated with a particular person, place, or thing


uni·​verse | \ ˈyü-nə-ˌvərs How to pronounce universe (audio) \

Kids Definition of universe

: all created things including the earth and heavenly bodies viewed as making up one system

More from Merriam-Webster on universe

Nglish: Translation of universe for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of universe for Arabic Speakers


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