- of, relating to, or characteristic of all or the whole: universal experience.
- applicable everywhere or in all cases; general: a universal cure.
- affecting, concerning, or involving all: universal military service.
- used or understood by all: a universal language.
- present everywhere: the universal calm of southern seas.
- versed in or embracing many or all skills, branches of learning, etc.: Leonardo da Vinci was a universal genius.
- of or relating to the universe, all nature, or all existing things: universal cause.
- characterizing all or most members of a class; generic.
- Logic. (of a proposition) asserted of every member of a class.
- Linguistics. found in all languages or belonging to the human language faculty.
- Machinery. noting any of various machines, tools, or devices widely adaptable in position, range of use, etc.
- (of metal plates and shapes) rolled in a universal mill.
- (of a rolling mill or rolling method) having or employing vertical edging rolls.
- something that may be applied throughout the universe to many things, usually thought of as an entity that can be in many places at the same time.
- a trait, characteristic, or property, as distinguished from a particular individual or event, that can be possessed in common, as the care of a mother for her young.
- Logic. a universal proposition.
- a general term or concept or the generic nature that such a term signifies; a Platonic idea or Aristotelian form.
- an entity that remains unchanged in character in a series of changes or changing relations.
- Hegelianism.concrete universal.
- language universal.
- Machinery. universal joint.
Origin of universal
- of, relating to, or typical of the whole of mankind or of nature
- common to, involving, or proceeding from all in a particular group
- applicable to or affecting many individuals, conditions, or cases; general
- existing or prevailing everywhere
- applicable or occurring throughout or relating to the universe; cosmica universal constant
- (esp of a language) capable of being used and understood by all
- embracing or versed in many fields of knowledge, activity, interest, etc
- machinery designed or adapted for a range of sizes, fittings, or uses
- linguistics (of a constraint in a formal grammar) common to the grammatical description of all human languages, actual or possible
- logic (of a statement or proposition) affirming or denying something about every member of a class, as in all men are wickedCompare particular (def. 6)
- a general term or concept or the type such a term signifies
- a metaphysical entity taken to be the reference of a general term, as distinct from the class of individuals it describesSee also realism (def. 5)
- a Platonic Idea or Aristotelian form
- a universal proposition, statement, or formula
- a universal quantifier
- a characteristic common to every member of a particular culture or to every human being
- short for universal joint
late 14c., from Old French universel (12c.), from Latin universalis "of or belonging to all," from universus "all together, whole, entire" (see universe). In mechanics, a universal joint (1670s) is one which allows free movement in any direction; in theology universalism (1805) is the doctrine of universal salvation (universalist in this sense is attested from 1620s). Universal product code is recorded from 1974.