[ sem-uh-ner-ee ]
/ ˈsɛm əˌnɛr i /

noun, plural sem·i·nar·ies.

a special school providing education in theology, religious history, etc., primarily to prepare students for the priesthood, ministry, or rabbinate.
a school, especially one of higher grade.
a school of secondary or higher level for young women.
a place of origin and propagation: a seminary of discontent.

Nearby words

  1. seminal principle,
  2. seminal vesicle,
  3. seminally,
  4. seminar,
  5. seminarian,
  6. semination,
  7. seminiferous,
  8. seminiferous epithelium,
  9. seminiferous tubule,
  10. seminiferous tubule dysgenesis

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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for seminary

British Dictionary definitions for seminary


/ (ˈsɛmɪnərɪ) /

noun plural -naries

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

Word Origin for seminary

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



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper