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.
  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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for intervarsity


  1. conducted, involving, or existing between two or more universities


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 intervarsity



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper