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

  • adj. Of, relating to, extending to, or affecting the entire world or all within the world; worldwide: "This discovery of literature has as yet only partially penetrated the universal consciousness” ( Ellen Key).
  • adj. Including, relating to, or affecting all members of the class or group under consideration: the universal skepticism of philosophers. See Synonyms at general.
  • adj. Applicable or common to all purposes, conditions, or situations: a universal remedy.
  • adj. Of or relating to the universe or cosmos; cosmic.
  • adj. Knowledgeable about or constituting all or many subjects; comprehensively broad.
  • adj. Adapted or adjustable to many sizes or mechanical uses.
  • adj. Logic Encompassing all of the members of a class or group. Used of a proposition.
  • n. Logic A universal proposition.
  • n. Logic A general or abstract concept or term considered absolute or axiomatic.
  • n. A general or widely held principle, concept, or notion.
  • n. A trait or pattern of behavior characteristic of all the members of a particular culture or of all humans.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Of or pertaining to the universe.
  • adj. Common to all members of a group or class.
  • adj. Common to all society; world-wide
  • adj. Cosmic; unlimited; vast; infinite
  • adj. Useful for many purposes, e.g., universal wrench.
  • n. A characteristic or property that particular things have in common.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to the universe; extending to, including, or affecting, the whole number, quantity, or space; unlimited; general; all-reaching; all-pervading
  • adj. Constituting or considered as a whole; total; entire; whole.
  • adj. Adapted or adaptable to all or to various uses, shapes, sizes, etc..
  • adj. Forming the whole of a genus; relatively unlimited in extension; affirmed or denied of the whole of a subject; ; -- opposed to particular; e. g. (universal affirmative) All men are animals; (universal negative) No men are omniscient.
  • n. The whole; the general system of the universe; the universe.
  • n.
  • n. A general abstract conception, so called from being universally applicable to, or predicable of, each individual or species contained under it.
  • n. A universal proposition. See Universal, a., 4.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • In mech., having feed-motions of the work against the cutter or tool in all possible directions (both right and left, forward and back, and up and down). Since tools of this type have usually a wide range of adaptable cutters, the term has been extended to mean having a very wide range of uses, or capable of doing nearly all kinds of work. It is the contradictory of special (in this use), which is applied to a tool that is designed for one class of work and no other.
  • A form of pipe-union in which the two pieces joined together, end to end, may be at an angle with each other, or not in line: effected by the use of a spherical surface of contact, one half male and the other female, pressed together by a nut forming part of the female half.
  • Pertaining to the universe in its entirety, or to the human race collectively.
  • Pertaining to all things or to all mankind distributively. This is the original and most proper signification.
  • Belonging to or predicated of all the members of a class considered without exception: as, a universal rule.
  • In logic, capable of being predicated of many individuals or single cases; general.
  • Synonyms General, etc. See common.
  • n. In logic: One of the five predicables of the Aristotelians, or logical varieties of predicates, which are said to be genus, species, difference, property, and accident.
  • n. A general term or predicate, or the general nature which such a term signifies.
  • n. The whole; the system of the universe.

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

  • n. (logic) a proposition that asserts something of all members of a class
  • adj. adapted to various purposes, sizes, forms, operations
  • n. coupling that connects two rotating shafts allowing freedom of movement in all directions
  • n. (linguistics) a grammatical rule (or other linguistic feature) that is found in all languages
  • adj. of worldwide scope or applicability
  • n. a behavioral convention or pattern characteristic of all members of a particular culture or of all human beings
  • adj. applicable to or common to all members of a group or set


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin universalis.



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