Hypertext Webster Gateway: "university"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

University \U`ni*ver"si*ty\, n.; pl. {Universities}. [OE.
universite, L. universitas all together, the whole, the
universe, a number of persons associated into one body, a
society, corporation, fr. universus all together, universal:
cf. F. universit['e]. See {Universe}.]
1. The universe; the whole. [Obs.] --Dr. H. More.

2. An association, society, guild, or corporation, esp. one
capable of having and acquiring property. [Obs.]

The universities, or corporate bodies, at Rome were
very numerous. There were corporations of bakers,
farmers of the revenue, scribes, and others. --Eng.

3. An institution organized and incorporated for the purpose
of imparting instruction, examining students, and
otherwise promoting education in the higher branches of
literature, science, art, etc., empowered to confer
degrees in the several arts and faculties, as in theology,
law, medicine, music, etc. A university may exist without
having any college connected with it, or it may consist of
but one college, or it may comprise an assemblage of
colleges established in any place, with professors for
instructing students in the sciences and other branches of

The present universities of Europe were, originally,
the greater part of them, ecclesiastical
corporations, instituted for the education of
churchmen . . . What was taught in the greater part
of those universities was suitable to the end of
their institutions, either theology or something
that was merely preparatory to theology. --A. Smith.

Note: From the Roman words universitas, collegium, corpus,
are derived the terms university, college, and
corporation, of modern languages; and though these
words have obtained modified significations in modern
times, so as to be indifferently applicable to the same
things, they all agree in retaining the fundamental
signification of the terms, whatever may have been
added to them. There is now no university, college, or
corporation, which is not a juristical person in the
sense above explained [see def. 2, above]; wherever
these words are applied to any association of persons
not stamped with this mark, it is an abuse of terms.
--Eng. Cyc.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

n 1: the body of faculty and students at a university
2: establishment where a seat of higher learning is housed,
including administrative and living quarters as well as
facilities for research and teaching
3: a large and diverse institution of higher learning created
to educate for life and for a profession and to grant

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