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varsity

[vahr-si-tee]
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noun, plural var·si·ties.
  1. any first-string team, especially in sports, that represents a school, college, university, or the like: He is on the varsity in tennis and in debating.
  2. Chiefly British Informal. university.
adjective
  1. of or relating to a university or school team, activity, or competition: a varsity debater.

Origin of varsity

1840–50; compare versity university, in 17th century; pronunciation probably preserves historical outcome of Middle English ĕr, as in varmint
Related formsin·ter·var·si·ty, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for varsity

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Of them some twenty-four were on the 'varsity and sixteen on the second.

    Left End Edwards

    Ralph Henry Barbour

  • After that, with the ball on the second's eight yards, the 'varsity should have scored easily.

    Left End Edwards

    Ralph Henry Barbour

  • We've done as much, in a way, as the 'varsity fellows to win from Claflin.

    Left End Edwards

    Ralph Henry Barbour

  • After that you may believe that the 'varsity played football!

    Left End Edwards

    Ralph Henry Barbour

  • He's been begging the 'varsity fellows to get stale and be done with it.

    Left End Edwards

    Ralph Henry Barbour


British Dictionary definitions for varsity

varsity

noun plural -ties
  1. British, NZ and Southern African informal university, formerly used esp at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge
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

Word Origin and History for varsity

adj.

1846, "university," variant of earlier versity (1670s), shortened form of university.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper