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Mid 17th century, short for university, reflecting an archaic pronunciation.[1]


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varsity ‎(countable and uncountable, plural varsities)

  1. university

Derived terms[edit]


Usage notes[edit]

  • Used attributively in the UK to describe a sports team representing a university or college, or a match involving such a team (in normal usage only applying to one of the older universities, and considered somewhat dated even then).
  • Used attributively in the U.S. and Canada to describe a sports team made up of older high school or college students (generally the 3rd and 4th years of a 4-year program), as contrasted with the junior varsity team made up of 1st- and 2nd-year students.


  1. ^ Oxford Dictionaries