noun, plural u·ni·ver·si·ties.
- an institution of learning of the highest level, having a college of liberal arts and a program of graduate studies together with several professional schools, as of theology, law, medicine, and engineering, and authorized to confer both undergraduate and graduate degrees. Continental European universities usually have only graduate or professional schools.
noun plural -ties
- an institution of higher education having authority to award bachelors’ and higher degrees, usually having research facilities
- the buildings, members, staff, or campus of a university
n.c.1300, “institution of higher learning,” also “body of persons constituting a university,” from Anglo-French université, Old French universitei (13c.), from Medieval Latin universitatem (nominative universitas), in Late Latin “corporation, society,” from Latin, “the whole, aggregate,” from universus “whole, entire” (see universe). In the academic sense, a shortening of universitas magistrorum et scholarium “community of masters and scholars;” superseded studium as the word for this.