See also: Academy



From French académie, from Latin acadēmīa, from Ancient Greek Ἀκαδημία (Akadēmía), a grove of trees and gymnasium outside of Athens where Plato taught; from the name of the supposed former owner of that estate, the Attic hero Akademos. Doublet of academia and Akademeia; compare academe.


  • (UK, US) IPA(key): /əˈkæd.ə.mi/
  • (Scotland) IPA(key): /əˈkadəmɪ/
  • (file)


academy (plural academies)

  1. (classical studies, usually capitalized) The garden where Plato taught. [First attested around 1350 to 1470.][1]
  2. (classical studies, usually capitalized) Plato's philosophical system based on skepticism; Plato's followers. [First attested in the mid 16th century.][1]
  3. An institution for the study of higher learning; a college or a university; typically a private school. [First attested in the mid 16th century.][1]
    • 1760–5, Tobias Smollett, The history of England from the revolution in 1688, to the death of George II, published 1805, page 449:
      The artists of London had long maintained a private academy for improvement in the art of drawing from living figures
    • 1776, David Hume, The life of David Hume[1]:
      In this year 1633, I became acquainted with Nicholas Fiske, licentiate in physic, who was born in Suffolk, near Framingham* Castle, of very good parentage, who educated him at country schools, until he was fit for the university; but he went not to the academy, studying at home both astrology and physic, which he afterwards practised in Colchester; and there was well acquainted with Dr Gilbert, who wrote "De Magnete".
  4. A school or place of training in which some special art is taught. [First attested in the late 16th century.][1]
    the military academy at West Point; a riding academy; the Academy of Music.; a music academy; a language academy
    • 1956, Delano Ames, chapter 9, in Crime out of Mind[2]:
      Rudolf was the bold, bad Baron of traditional melodrama. Irene was young, as pretty as a picture, fresh from a music academy in England. He was the scion of an ancient noble family; she an orphan without money or friends.
  5. A society of learned people united for the advancement of the arts and sciences, and literature, or some particular art or science. [First attested in the early 17th century.][1]
    the French Academy; the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; academies of literature and philology.
  6. (obsolete) The knowledge disseminated in an Academy. [Attested from the early 17th century until the mid 18th century.][1]
  7. (with the, without reference to any specific academy) Academia.
    • 2016, Neoliberal Tools (and Archives): A Political History of Digital Humanities[3]:
      In the academy and outside of it, the privileging of technical expertise above other forms of knowledge is a political gesture, and one that has proved highly effective in neutralizing critique of established power relations.
  8. A body of established opinion in a particular field, regarded as authoritative.
  9. (UK, education) A school directly funded by central government, independent of local control.


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Related termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Brown, Lesley, ed. The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary. 5th. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.