[ yoo-nuh-vurs ]
/ ˈyu nəˌvɜrs /


the totality of known or supposed objects and phenomena throughout space; the cosmos; macrocosm.
the whole world, especially with reference to humanity: a truth known throughout the universe.
a world or sphere in which something exists or prevails: his private universe.
Also called universe of discourse. Logic. the aggregate of all the objects, attributes, and relations assumed or implied in a given discussion.
Also called universal set. Mathematics. the set of all elements under discussion for a given problem.
Statistics. the entire population under study.

Origin of universe

1325–75; Middle English < Old French univers < Latin ūniversum, noun use of neuter of ūniversus entire, all, literally, turned into one, equivalent to ūni- uni- + versus (past participle of vertere to turn)
Related formssub·u·ni·verse, nounsu·per·u·ni·verse, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for universe of discourse (1 of 2)

universe of discourse


logic the complete range of objects, events, attributes, relations, ideas, etc, that are expressed, assumed, or implied in a discussion

British Dictionary definitions for universe of discourse (2 of 2)


/ (ˈjuːnɪˌvɜːs) /


astronomy the aggregate of all existing matter, energy, and space
human beings collectively
a province or sphere of thought or activity
statistics another word for population (def. 7)

Word Origin for universe

C16: from French univers, from Latin ūniversum the whole world, from ūniversus all together, from uni- + vertere to turn
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 universe of discourse



1580s, "the whole world, cosmos," from Old French univers (12c.), from Latin universum "the universe," noun use of neuter of adj. universus "all together," literally "turned into one," from unus "one" (see one) + versus, past participle of vertere "to turn" (see versus). Properly a loan-translation of Greek to holon "the universe," noun use of neuter of adj. holos "whole" (see safe (adj.)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for universe of discourse


[ yōōnə-vûrs′ ]

The totality of matter, energy, and space, including the Solar System, the galaxies, and the contents of the space between the galaxies. Current theories of cosmology suggest that the universe is constantly expanding.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.