Definition of varsity in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈvɑːsɪti/

noun (plural varsities)

1British dated, South African , or NZ University: he had his hair cut when he got back from varsity
More example sentences
  • Students come from across Africa, are based at varsities across the country, but come to Cape Town for an initial intense burst of studying.
  • The powers that be had better soon realise that this varsity has outstanding lecturers who are by far the most competent and passionate people for the job.
  • A spokesperson for the Nelson Mandela varsity, Roslyn Baatjies, said their student debt stood at R101,9m at the end of July.
1.1 [as modifier] British (Especially of a sporting event or team) relating to a university, especially Oxford or Cambridge: a varsity match
More example sentences
  • It was only a few weeks later that he scored 169 for Cambridge in the varsity match.
  • The sport has been played at the university for almost 30 years and this year, the annual varsity match against Cambridge was on Sky TV.
  • The reason why Clemington had made it to the finals four years in a row would have to be based on the fact that four years ago, Chris Donovan and Devon Matthews joined the boy's varsity team.
1.2North American The principal team representing a high school or college in a sport or other competition: Miller promoted him to the varsity for his sophomore season
More example sentences
  • By the time he joined the varsity as a sophomore, he and his coach realized he should become a full-time catcher.
  • With five assistant coaches and two trainers, the varsity's bench resembled an NBA team's.
  • As a freshman at Birmingham High School in Los Angeles, he was a pretty good basketball player, made junior varsity, and although he didn't play much he put up good numbers when he did.


Mid 17th century: shortening of university, reflecting an archaic pronunciation.

Words that rhyme with varsity


For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: var|sity

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.