[ yoo-nee ]
/ ˈyu ni /
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noun Informal.
a uniformed police officer; uniform: A uni phoned in the burglary at 2:19 this morning.
British and Australian. university: Tony and Marc are both off to uni in two weeks.
In effect, this quiz will prove whether or not you have the skills to know the difference between “affect” and “effect.”
Question 1 of 7
The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.
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Origin of uni

First recorded in 1895–1900; by shortening

Other definitions for uni (2 of 2)


a combining form occurring in loanwords from Latin (universe), used, with the meaning “one,” in the formation of compound words (unicycle).

Origin of uni-

<Latin ūni- combining form of ūnus one; see -i-
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does uni- mean?

Uni- is a combining form used like a prefix, meaning “one.”  Uni- appears in a wide variety of everyday and technical terms alike.

Uni- comes from the Latin ūnus, meaning “one.” The Greek counterpart of uni- is mono-, as in monologue. Learn more at our Words That Use article on the form.

Examples of uni-

One popular word that features uni- is unicorn, “a mythical creature resembling a horse, with a single horn in the center of its forehead.” The word comes from the Latin ūnicornis, which uses the equivalent form uni- in the language.

If uni- means “one,” what does the -corn portion of the word signify? The element -corn refers to “horn,” from the Latin cōrnu. Unicorn literally translates to “(having) one horn.”

What are some words that use the combining form uni-?

The following words use the equivalent forms of uni- in Latin:

What are some other forms that uni- may be commonly confused with?

Not every word that begins with the letters uni- is necessarily using the combining form uni- to mean “one.” These words, such as unidentified, are instead using the form un-, “not,” in combination with a second form beginning with the letter i. Learn more about the word unidentified at our entry.

Break it down!

The word cycle, from Greek kýklos, has a variety of meanings, including “wheel.” With this in mind, what does unicycle mean?

How to use uni in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for uni (1 of 2)

/ (ˈjuːnɪ) /

informal short for university

British Dictionary definitions for uni (2 of 2)


combining form
consisting of, relating to, or having only oneunilateral; unisexual

Word Origin for uni-

from Latin ūnus one
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

Medical definitions for uni


Single; one:univalent.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.