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[pol-ee-tek-nik] /ˌpɒl iˈtɛk nɪk/
of, relating to, or offering instruction in a variety of industrial arts, applied sciences, or technical subjects:
a polytechnic institute.
a school or other institution in which instruction in technical subjects is given.
Origin of polytechnic
1795-1805; poly- + technic, modeled on French polytechnique Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for polytechnic
Historical Examples
  • The guard-house of the polytechnic School overflowed with people.

  • Frederick urged a pupil of the polytechnic School to interfere.

  • He exhibited a model of his invention at the polytechnic Institution.

  • Instead of going to the polytechnic he practised with his dumb-bells in the back bedroom.

    The Combined Maze May Sinclair
  • The galleries themselves were packed with members of the polytechnic and their friends.

    The Combined Maze May Sinclair
  • They lead the march one year, and the polytechnic leads it the next.

    The Adventures of a Modest Man Robert W. Chambers
  • A fourth problem was whether the polytechnic school should place primary emphasis on trade specialization or on academic subjects.

    Area Handbook for Bulgaria

    Eugene K. Keefe, Violeta D. Baluyut, William Giloane, Anne K. Long, James M. Moore, and Neda A. Walpole
  • The polytechnic is almost an exact copy of the front of the Parthenon.

    The Rulers of the Mediterranean Richard Harding Davis
  • He was Professor of the polytechnic in that city, and died as such in 1884.

    Some Jewish Witnesses For Christ Rev. A. Bernstein, B.D.
  • It's not the Board School that does it: it's the polytechnic.

    Man And Superman George Bernard Shaw
British Dictionary definitions for polytechnic


(Brit) a college offering advanced full- and part-time courses, esp vocational courses, in many fields at and below degree standard
of or relating to technical instruction and training
Word Origin
C19: via French from Greek polutekhnos skilled in many arts. See technic
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for polytechnic

1805, "pertaining to instruction in many (technical) subjects," from French École Polytechnique, engineering school founded 1794 (as École des Travaux publics) in Paris; from Greek polytekhnos "skilled in many arts," from polys "many" (see poly-) + tekhne "art" (see techno-). As a noun (short for polytechnic institution) from 1836.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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