from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- An organization for promoting the spiritual, intellectual, social, and physical welfare of young men, founded, June 6, 1844, by George Williams (knighted therefor by Queen Victoria) in London. In 1851 it extended to the United States and Canada, and in 1855 representatives of similar organizations throughout Europe and America formed an international body. The movement has successfully expanded not only among young men in general, but also specifically among railroad men, in the army and navy, with provision for Indians and negroes, and a full duplication of all the various lines of oepration in the boys' departments. It currently (1998) maintains buildings which usually have both recreational facilities and dormitories for dwelling. It is usually called by its acronym YMCA. See also the similar organizations young women's christian association and YMHA.
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