university of life

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university of life (plural universities of life)

  1. (idiomatic, chiefly UK and Ireland) The real world as a source of instruction, as opposed to a formal education.
    I learned all I need to know from the university of life, not from books.
    • 1922 February, James Joyce, Ulysses, London: The Egoist Press, published October 1922, OCLC 2297483:
      [BEAUFOY:] We are considerably out of pocket over this bally pressman johnny, this jackdaw of Rheims, who has not even been to a university.
      BLOOM: (Indistinctly) University of life.



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