Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The principal team representing a university, college, or school in sports, games, or other competitions.
  • n. Chiefly British A university.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. university

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Colloquial contraction of university.
  • n. the team with the best players of a school or club, being the main representative of the organization in competitive play between schools or organizations. In schools, contrasted with junior varsity. Also used attributively, .

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A reduction of univarsity for university: used in English universities, and affected to some extent in American colleges.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a team representing a college or university
  • n. a British abbreviation of `university'; usually refers to Oxford University or Cambridge University

Etymologies

Shortening and alteration of university.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Alteration of university (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The contest between Dean and Gephardt is what I call the varsity contest for first place.

    CNN Transcript Jan 12, 2004

  • I have to wonder if one reason that Iowa has such a high percentage of HS participation in varsity sports is because the average school size is smaller with all the small towns.

    Matthew Yglesias » The Impact of Title IX

  • In HuffPost Hill's opinion, the video would have been much more effective had it been cast as a 50s sci-fi/horror movie trailer (footage of clean-cut jocks in varsity jackets driving their 57 Chevys away from some oncoming terror, cutting away to a pretty girl in a poodle skirt and a bowtie in her hair to answer the phone and hear the words "THE ARAB-AMERICANS ARE COMING FROM INSIDE YOUR HOUSE," etc).

    HUFFPOST HILL - OCTOBER 4TH, 2010

  • PITTSBURGH (AP) - The Carolina Panthers proved something during a long night that featured almost no starters and plenty of not-so-good football: Their junior varsity is better than that of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    USATODAY.com - Football - Carolina vs. Pittsburgh

  • Walker had competed in varsity athletics in Kentucky as a freshman before transferring to North College Hill and enrolling as an eighth-grader.

    USATODAY.com - Walker attempts to graduate early

  • Three-letter man in varsity athletics in high school and college.

    Roger W. Sperry - Autobiography

  • In high school he participated in varsity basketball and baseball and sang in the boy's chorus and quartet.

    Johnson, Harlod E.

  • A chance to be on the floor with the varsity was his burning desire.

    Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inside Basketball

  • I have what one would call a varsity team, JV, and C team.

    ┬┐Wanna help?

  • Moving up to the varsity was a big adjustment for any player; practices were harder, the travel was tiring, and the public attention unfamiliar.

    Getting Open

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