[ skool ]
See synonyms for: schoolschooledschooling on

  1. an institution where instruction is given, especially to persons under college age: The children are at school.

  2. an institution for instruction in a particular skill or field.

  1. a college or university.

  2. a regular course of meetings of a teacher or teachers and students for instruction; program of instruction: summer school.

  3. a session of such a course: no school today; to be kept after school.

  4. the activity or process of learning under instruction, especially at a school for the young: As a child, I never liked school.

  5. one's formal education: They plan to be married when he finishes school.

  6. a building housing a school.

  7. the body of students, or students and teachers, belonging to an educational institution: The entire school rose when the principal entered the auditorium.

  8. a building, room, etc., in a university, set apart for the use of one of the faculties or for some particular purpose: the school of agriculture.

  9. a particular faculty or department of a university having the right to recommend candidates for degrees, and usually beginning its program of instruction after the student has completed general education: medical school.

  10. any place, situation, etc., tending to teach anything.

  11. the body of pupils or followers of a master, system, method, etc.: the Platonic school of philosophy.

  12. Art.

    • a group of artists, as painters, writers, or musicians, whose works reflect a common conceptual, regional, or personal influence: the modern school; the Florentine school.

    • the art and artists of a geographical location considered independently of stylistic similarity: the French school.

  13. any group of persons having common attitudes or beliefs.

  14. Military, Navy. parts of close-order drill applying to the individual (school of the soldier ), the squad (school of the squad ), or the like.

  15. Australian and New Zealand Informal. a group of people gathered together, especially for gambling or drinking.

  16. schools, Archaic. the faculties of a university.

  17. Obsolete. the schoolmen in a medieval university.

  1. of or connected with a school or schools.

  2. Obsolete. of the schoolmen.

verb (used with object)
  1. to educate in or as if in a school; teach; train.

  2. Archaic. to reprimand.

Idioms about school

  1. school of hard knocks. See entry at school of hard knocks.

  2. school of thought. See entry at school of thought.

Origin of school

First recorded before 900; Middle English noun scol(e), schole, Old English scōl, scolu, from Latin schola, from Greek scholḗ “leisure employed in learning”

Other words from school

  • school·a·ble, adjective
  • school·less, adjective
  • school·like, adjective

Words Nearby school

Other definitions for school (2 of 2)

[ skool ]

  1. a large number of fish, porpoises, whales, or the like, feeding or migrating together.

verb (used without object)
  1. to form into, or go in, a school, as fish.

Origin of school

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English schol(e), sculle, from Middle Dutch schōle “flock (of animals),” Dutch school “shoal (of fish)”; cognate with Old English scolu “troop”; see shoal2 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use school in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for school (1 of 2)


/ (skuːl) /

    • an institution or building at which children and young people usually under 19 receive education

    • (as modifier): school bus; school day

    • (in combination): schoolroom; schoolwork

  1. any educational institution or building

  1. a faculty, institution, or department specializing in a particular subject: a law school

  2. the staff and pupils of a school

  3. the period of instruction in a school or one session of this: he stayed after school to do extra work

  4. meetings held occasionally for members of a profession, etc

  5. a place or sphere of activity that instructs: the school of hard knocks

  6. a body of people or pupils adhering to a certain set of principles, doctrines, or methods

  7. a group of artists, writers, etc, linked by the same style, teachers, or aims: the Venetian school of painting

  8. a style of life: a gentleman of the old school

  9. informal a group assembled for a common purpose, esp gambling or drinking

  1. to train or educate in or as in a school

  2. to discipline or control

  1. an archaic word for reprimand

Origin of school

Old English scōl, from Latin schola school, from Greek skholē leisure spent in the pursuit of knowledge

British Dictionary definitions for school (2 of 2)


/ (skuːl) /

  1. a group of porpoises or similar aquatic animals that swim together

  1. (intr) to form such a group

Origin of school

Old English scolu shoal ²

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with school


In addition to the idiom beginning with school

  • school of hard knocks

also see:

  • tell tales (out of school)

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.