Definition: Universe

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From Middle English universe, from Old French univers, from Latin universum (all things, as a whole, the universe), neuter of universus (all together, whole, entire, collective, general, literally turned or combined into one), from uni-, combining form of unus (one) + versus (turned), perfect passive participle of vertō (to turn). Analyzable as uni- + -verse through backformation of the suffix -verse.


universe (plural universes)

  1. The sum of everything that exists in the cosmos.
    I think that the universe was created by a life force rather than a deity.
    1. An entity similar to our universe; one component of a larger entity known as the multiverse.
      There may be a parallel universe out there.
  2. Everything under consideration.
    In all this universe of possibilities, there is only one feasible option.
    1. (mathematics) The set of all things considered.
    2. (statistics, psychometrics) The set of all admissible observations.
    3. (marketing, economics) A sample taken from the population.
  3. An imaginary collection of worlds.
    The universe in this comic book series is richly imagined.
    1. (literature, films) A collection of stories with characters and settings that are less interrelated than those of sequels or prequels.
  4. A whole world, in the sense of perspective or social setting.
    That didn’t just rock my world, it rocked my universe.
  5. A deity who is equivalent to the sum of everything that exists in the cosmos.
    The universe wants you to succeed.

Proper noun

universe or Universe

  1. Specifically our universe.

Derived terms

  • alternate universe
  • expanded universe
  • in-universe
  • known universe
  • nonuniverse
  • observable universe
  • parallel universe
  • shared universe
  • subuniverse

Related terms


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