[kam-puh s]

noun, plural cam·pus·es.

the grounds, often including the buildings, of a college, university, or school.
a college or university: The large influx of older students radically changed many campuses throughout the country.
a division of a university that has its own grounds, buildings, and faculty but is administratively joined to the rest of the university.
the world of higher education: Foundation grants have had a marked effect on the character of the American campus.
a large, usually suburban, landscaped business or industrial site.

Origin of campus

1765–75, Americanism; < Latin: flat place, field, plain
Related formsin·ter·cam·pus, adjectivenon·cam·pus, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for campuses

square, dorm, quadrangle, quad, yard, grounds

Examples from the Web for campuses

Contemporary Examples of campuses

Historical Examples of campuses

  • Campuses are all alike, he muttered to himself, on every human planet, for all the centuries there have been universities.

    The Dueling Machine

    Benjamin William Bova

  • It is not that its thick short grass grows any greener than that of other campuses.

  • Once Japanese businesses started buying American campuses, the price of the compromise became clear.

British Dictionary definitions for campuses


noun plural -puses

the grounds and buildings of a university
mainly US the outside area of a college, university, etc

Word Origin for campus

C18: from Latin: field
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 campuses



"college grounds," 1774, from Latin campus "a field," probably properly "an expanse surrounded" (by woods, higher ground, etc.), from PIE *kampos "a corner, cove," from root *kamp- "to bend" (cf. Lithuanian kampus "corner," Polish kępa "cluster of trees or brush"). First used in college sense at Princeton.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper