Definition of college in English:



  • 1An educational institution or establishment, in particular:

    • ‘A nation where only the best or the wealthiest ever have a chance at college, maybe one in 80 Brazilians gets into the best state-supported colleges.’
    • ‘THOUSANDS OF students in universities and colleges across Britain are mobilising against the war.’
    • ‘Changing times indeed, and the result of the outstanding work being done in the colleges, secondary schools and national schools of Galway’
    • ‘The college was re-opened more than a decade later as a college of continuing education.’
    • ‘For example, when Ataturk was bringing modern Turkey into being, he closed down all the madrasas, the colleges of further education.’
    • ‘Pupils will be able to spend time in work placements and further education colleges, as well as in school.’
    • ‘For the next few years Finbar and Eddie Furey toured the folk clubs, colleges and universities throughout Britain and Europe, building up a large following.’
    • ‘Now professional footballers, with their taste in designer suits and fast cars, will rub shoulders with students at FE colleges and universities.’
    • ‘She went to sixth-form college to do A-levels, but left halfway through the course to train as a beauty therapist at a private college.’
    • ‘Campaigners say billions of pounds are being spent on war while the Government ‘continues to squeeze students in schools, colleges and universities’.’
    • ‘At college he had a hard time relating to his classmates, who were much older.’
    • ‘At college I had an Alexander Technique teacher for posture and body use.’
    • ‘Twice during the month before the show, dance educators from local colleges or companies volunteer to watch their rehearsals and give feedback.’
    • ‘At college in Aberdeen, she specialised in swimming, hockey and netball and it was a knock from a hockey stick that accounts for much of her infirmity now.’
    • ‘At college, I discovered a wealth of ideas that I had never considered before.’
    1. 1.1 One providing higher education or specialized professional or vocational training:
      ‘colleges of further education’
      ‘I'm at college, studying graphic design’
      • ‘At college he studied history and theology, then spent several years teaching in the Middle East.’
      • ‘Beginning in fall 2005, the new program will instead give vouchers to students to spend at colleges and universities.’
      • ‘The next steps are music colleges and higher educational establishments.’
      • ‘Institute work will involve the colleges of Agriculture, Education, Family and Consumer Sciences, and Liberal Arts and Sciences.’
      • ‘Manchester and Salford have two of the worst records in the country for sending young people on from secondary school to college.’
      • ‘She said she had enjoyed seeing how former pupils fared at secondary school and college, and later working in jobs in the area.’
      • ‘For the last several years, the center has had visitors from other teacher education colleges.’
      • ‘At college Michael studied piano with a well-known teacher, Ernest Kroll.’
      • ‘This result was accomplished by granting university status to the polytechnics and to some colleges of higher education.’
      • ‘Yet, she did go to college, graduated in women's studies and history and consciously chose to become an organiser.’
      • ‘Private vocational colleges and high school programs have also enjoyed strong growth.’
      • ‘The event is sponsored by the Design, Engineering and Education colleges.’
      • ‘While more and more workers need skill on the job, not all workers need to go to college to prepare for work.’
      • ‘At college I studied textiles and illustration, so I married the two.’
      • ‘All four colleges provided training for secondary school teachers on integrated academic curricula.’
      • ‘After high school, I wanted to go to college and study business law.’
      • ‘At college, his professors thought he was crazy to be in school because he could make a lot more money as a bricklayer.’
      • ‘Also, men and women who did not go to college after finishing high school were not included in the sample.’
      • ‘The whole system here is from high school through to colleges through to the professional leagues, is all designed to develop those top 100 players.’
      • ‘The handful of working-class Protestants who make it to university tend to attend college in mainland Britain, and stay there upon graduation.’
      educational institution, training establishment, centre of learning, seat of learning
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    2. 1.2 (in Britain) any of the independent institutions into which certain universities are separated, each having its own teaching staff, students, and buildings:
      ‘the Oxford colleges’
      [in names] ‘Trinity College, Cambridge’
      • ‘This was actually a party organised by my old college, St Catherine's.’
      • ‘Josephine English didn't rent a cap and gown when she heard she had graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from a Dublin college.’
      • ‘The overall effect aspired to evoke the atmosphere of a Cambridge college, with some degree of success.’
      • ‘Much of the mystique of Oxford lies in the ancient and beautiful buildings of the colleges of the university.’
      • ‘The project will also involve Barkston spending time at the York college as part of a judging panel assisting with the design of a new foundation degree course at the college.’
      • ‘Human beings seems to be hard-wired for monarchy, from student unions to Oxford colleges to the University of Oxford.’
      • ‘Oxford Limited intends to offer colleges the opportunity to sell the items directly through the JCRs at competitive prices.’
      • ‘With a few exceptions, all are students from various colleges of Delhi University and some even from schools.’
      • ‘Sustainable sources such as solar and hydroelectric energy are now used to power many of the university's buildings and colleges.’
      • ‘Students from colleges in Delhi University complain that the authorities are not willing to consider their demands for better security.’
    3. 1.3British A private secondary school:
      [in names] ‘Eton College’
      • ‘In the late 1990s, the government sanctioned several private colleges that emphasized business curricula.’
      • ‘The possibility of the move had to be passed by Dennis's then girlfriend, Peta, who was teaching at a private college.’
      • ‘The decision is followed by an earlier Supreme Court judgement that said that private schools and colleges were not free to frame their own fee structure.’
      • ‘St James's Street CBS and the Institute of Education run repeat Leaving Cert classes as do as many other public and private schools and colleges.’
      • ‘Some private schools and colleges still reject the public school position which consists of accepting the standard of the age and teaching political correctness.’
      • ‘The event, which has been held in Manchester since 2003, is designed to celebrate the achievements of pupils in specialist arts colleges such as Turton School.’
      • ‘In the meantime, the private colleges remain very active and Portobello College and Griffith College said they were pleased with the level of interest they have seen after this trip.’
      • ‘Teacher John Winter said it's the second year the college has entered and got through to the finals, but this time they hope to win.’
      • ‘This sort of curriculum was strongest in the private colleges and state high schools, opening for many of their pupils a pathway to the professions.’
      • ‘Teachers in government funded private colleges in the Punjab are on strike for a pension and gratuity scheme.’
      • ‘He joined SN Das Gupta College, a private college, which started coaching for KAS two years ago.’
      • ‘Of course, as a teacher in a private college I'm living the contradiction.’
      • ‘The ex-offenders centre is only a stone's throw away from the Ursuline Convent where there is a secondary college for teenage girls.’
      • ‘Both schools will open as colleges in September and will work closely with primary and secondary schools and share resources with the local community.’
    4. 1.4US A university offering a limited curriculum or teaching only to a bachelor's degree:
      [in names] ‘Harvard College’
      • ‘Many colleges have degree completion programs designed to help adult learners finish what they started.’
      • ‘The students hail from 35 states, and the college offers associates and bachelor of arts degrees.’
      • ‘Nearly half of the 585,000 students who graduated from colleges, universities, and grad schools this year were women.’
      • ‘The survey looked at students who had graduated with a degree, a diploma or a certificate from a college or university bachelor's program.’
      • ‘After her own studies, she taught in a variety of universities and colleges in America and Britain.’
      • ‘The participants in this study were students at several colleges and universities.’
      • ‘In addition, several colleges offer degree programs with on- or off-base classes.’
    5. 1.5 The teaching staff and students of a college considered collectively:
      ‘the college was shocked by his death’
  • 2An organized group of professional people with particular aims, duties, and privileges:

    [in names] ‘the Royal College of Physicians’
    • ‘While doctors have influenced world events by personal interaction, and can do so again, the involvement of our professional organisations and colleges has generally been perfunctory.’
    • ‘We need to set our own house in order and should all be striving to foster working environments free of bullies, whether in our hospitals, practices, professional organisations, or colleges.’
    • ‘An audit represents systematic monitoring of specific aspects of care; it is somewhat formal, being set up and organised by national colleges and regional committees.’
    • ‘Scant interest has been shown in it by our governing bodies, the royal colleges, the General Medical Council, or organisations involved in patients' safety.’
    association, society, club, group, band, circle, fellowship, body, guild, lodge, order, fraternity, confraternity, brotherhood, sisterhood, sorority, league, union, alliance, affiliation, institution, coterie, federation
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Late Middle English: from Old French, from Latin collegium partnership, from collega partner in office, from col- together with + legare depute.