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seminary

[sem-uh-ner-ee]
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noun, plural sem·i·nar·ies.
  1. a special school providing education in theology, religious history, etc., primarily to prepare students for the priesthood, ministry, or rabbinate.
  2. a school, especially one of higher grade.
  3. a school of secondary or higher level for young women.
  4. seminar(def 1).
  5. a place of origin and propagation: a seminary of discontent.
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Origin of seminary

1400–50; late Middle English: seed plot, nursery < Latin sēminārium, equivalent to sēmin- (stem of sēmen) seed, semen + -ārium -ary
Related formssem·i·nar·i·al, adjectivepre·sem·i·nar·y, adjective, noun, plural pre·sem·i·nar·ies.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for seminary

seminary

noun plural -naries
  1. an academy for the training of priests, rabbis, etc
  2. US another word for seminar (def. 1)
  3. a place where something is grown
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Derived Formsseminarial, adjective

Word Origin

C15: from Latin sēminārium a nursery garden, from sēmen seed
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 seminary

n.

mid-15c., "plot where plants are raised from seeds," from Latin seminarium "plant nursery, seed plot," figuratively, "breeding ground," from seminarius "of seed," from semen (genitive seminis) "seed" (see semen). Meaning "school for training priests" first recorded 1580s; commonly used for any school (especially academies for young ladies) from 1580s to 1930s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper