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varsity

[vahr-si-tee]
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noun, plural var·si·ties.
  1. any first-string team, especially in sports, that represents a school, college, university, or the like: He is on the varsity in tennis and in debating.
  2. Chiefly British Informal. university.
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adjective
  1. of or relating to a university or school team, activity, or competition: a varsity debater.
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Origin of varsity

1840–50; compare versity university, in 17th century; pronunciation probably preserves historical outcome of Middle English ĕr, as in varmint
Related formsin·ter·var·si·ty, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

startersvarsity

Examples from the Web for varsity

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Of them some twenty-four were on the 'varsity and sixteen on the second.

    Left End Edwards

    Ralph Henry Barbour

  • After that you may believe that the 'varsity played football!

    Left End Edwards

    Ralph Henry Barbour

  • After that, with the ball on the second's eight yards, the 'varsity should have scored easily.

    Left End Edwards

    Ralph Henry Barbour

  • He's been begging the 'varsity fellows to get stale and be done with it.

    Left End Edwards

    Ralph Henry Barbour

  • We've done as much, in a way, as the 'varsity fellows to win from Claflin.

    Left End Edwards

    Ralph Henry Barbour


British Dictionary definitions for varsity

varsity

noun plural -ties
  1. British, NZ and Southern African informal university, formerly used esp at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge
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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 varsity

adj.

1846, "university," variant of earlier versity (1670s), shortened form of university.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper