There are 2 main definitions of universal in English:

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universal 1

Pronunciation: /juːnɪˈvəːs(ə)l/


1Relating to or done by all people or things in the world or in a particular group; applicable to all cases: universal adult suffrage the incidents caused universal concern
More example sentences
  • Trinidad was granted universal adult suffrage in 1945.
  • After World War II, universal adult suffrage was introduced and a party system was developed.
  • It is rooted in a specific place and culture, but the concerns are universal.
1.1 Logic Denoting a proposition in which something is asserted of all of a class. Contrasted with particular.
Example sentences
  • He connects it with the thesis that only universal propositions can be known.
1.2 Linguistics Denoting or relating to a grammatical rule, set of rules, or other linguistic feature that is found in all languages.
Example sentences
  • Instead, slang and universal loanwords are used, a so - called ‘globespeak.’
1.3(Of a tool or machine) adjustable to or appropriate for all requirements.
Example sentences
  • As a universal machine, the computer and particularly its software are the centre of interest.
  • Today the computer is the universal machine that is driving the Information Age.
  • There's a yawning chasm between their user-experience of partially-universal machines and universal machines.


1A thing having universal effect, currency, or application, in particular:
1.1 Logic A universal proposition.
Example sentences
  • If laws are thought of in some other way - for example, as involving relations of necessitation amongst universals - then the proposal may be more promising.
  • Consider as a definiendum a universal, such as man, and its definiens, rational animal.
1.2 Philosophy A term or concept of general application.
Example sentences
  • If we move from universals to concepts in general, we can see how category theory could be useful even in cognitive science.
  • The Idea is composed of universals, general concepts, whereas Nature comprises myriads of particular things.
  • Abelard defends his thesis that universals are nothing but words by arguing that ontological realism about universals is incoherent.
1.3 Philosophy A nature or essence signified by a general term.
Example sentences
  • Human existence has remained under the influence of myths, these being claims to timeless and incontrovertible truths - in essence, universals.
  • Secondly, are the universals of human nature claimed by academic psychology more accurately seen as Western or Euroamerican patterns?
  • Conceptualists hold that universals are mental constructions and traditional nominalists hold that either universals are linguistic constructions or they do not exist at all.
1.4 Linguistics A universal grammatical rule or linguistic feature.
Example sentences
  • And I suspect that it's a linguistic universal for farm animals, crops and food products to figure in terms of disdain and abuse.
  • There are aspects of anaphoric universals which clearly are of a grammatical nature; there are also aspects of anaphoric universals which equally clearly are of a pragmatic nature.
  • Because of this, the sentence as understood in the Western linguistic tradition has not yet been unequivocally established as a universal of language.


Late Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin universalis, from universus (see universe).

Words that rhyme with universal

disbursal, dispersal, Purcell, rehearsal, reversal, succursal, tercel, transversal, traversal
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There are 2 main definitions of universal in English:

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Universal 2

Pronunciation: /juːnɪˈvəːs(ə)l/
A US film production company formed in 1912.
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