Definition of universe in US English:



the universe
  • 1All existing matter and space considered as a whole; the cosmos. The universe is believed to be at least 10 billion light years in diameter and contains a vast number of galaxies; it has been expanding since its creation in the Big Bang about 13 billion years ago.

    • ‘If you really believe that the universe is infinite than you must also accept that godlike things will exist.’
    • ‘At the moment they believe the universe to be expanding, or contracting, or both.’
    • ‘So the question then is how much information has the universe processed since the Big Bang?’
    • ‘Theory predicts that there is five times more dark matter than ordinary matter in the universe.’
    • ‘They want to believe the universe is an elegant universe-and it's not so elegant.’
    • ‘Light from the object began its long journey across space when the universe was less than a billion years old.’
    • ‘If the universe is expanding at any time and is closed, the expansion will slow down in the future.’
    • ‘Instead, the earth was envisaged as one planet amongst the vast, empty time and space of the universe.’
    • ‘For a few millennia after the Big Bang, the universe was dense, turbulent, and unimaginably hot.’
    • ‘Among the many mysteries in the universe is the dark matter in galaxies and clusters.’
    • ‘Here he describes how black holes might spawn new universes.’
    • ‘In the initial stages of the big bang the universe existed in a highly compressed state.’
    • ‘Many people want to find God in the creation of the universe, in the big bang that started it all off.’
    • ‘In the universe matter and physical space are in permanent dynamic equilibrium.’
    • ‘He remembered clearly looking back at the stars, glinting at him across a million light years of the universe.’
    • ‘The basic idea behind inflation is that a repulsive form of gravity caused the universe to expand.’
    • ‘Others believe that the universe was created as a whole by a single all-powerful entity.’
    • ‘Why can't we believe that the universe is infinite, both in size and duration?’
    • ‘You can see this very clearly in the physical sciences - do we have one universe or parallel universes?’
    • ‘This implied that the universe was expanding and led the way to the Big Bang theory.’
    cosmos, macrocosm, totality, whole world, creation, space, outer space, the heavens, the firmament
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    1. 1.1 A particular sphere of activity, interest, or experience.
      ‘the front parlor was the hub of her universe’
      • ‘In an elegant book, these parallel universes are the sole source of irritation.’
      • ‘Some of these are small enough in our moral universes to almost vanish.’
      • ‘We cannot help but sense that we are trespassing on a hundred very private, vanished universes.’
      • ‘It could work in the same way that comic books bridge universes, so to speak.’
      • ‘Are we to consider our own dreams as the raw material to be understood as the basis of our own closed universes?’
      • ‘After all, they come not merely of different worlds, but, in effect, different universes.’
      • ‘Second, the five core features do not inhabit separate universes.’
      • ‘And this is not exactly rocket science because the survey universes are clearly different.’
      • ‘It's like she and I are in two entirely different universes, and it's hard for us to relate.’
      • ‘I knew that Truth was peace and joy and I knew it was effortless, but thinking this and experiencing this are universes apart.’
      • ‘These fashion universes are not parallel, but keep in constant touch with one another.’
      • ‘It was as though the two men inhabited completely un-related moral universes.’
      • ‘We try and create universes in which we constantly ask ourselves how much we really want to show and how much we want to leave in the dark.’
      • ‘Flynn remembers meeting them in a challenge game a few years back in Ballymun but aside from that they have inhabited separate universes.’
      • ‘Artists began illustrating their own, internal worlds, creating their own universes.’
      • ‘All movement between universes is closely monitored, trespassing is severely punished.’
      • ‘Both the material and metaphysical universes of the indigenous people were turned upside down.’
      • ‘They spiced up our holiday and enabled us to discover their universes and their cultures, familial and national.’
      • ‘Already, we are worlds away from the universes of The Asphalt Jungle and The Killing.’
      province, world, sphere, preserve, domain, circle, milieu, territory, quarter
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    2. 1.2
      another term for universal set
      • ‘Similarly, one can prove the consistency of predicate logic (or the pure epsilon calculus), by specializing to interpretations where the universe of discourse has a single element.’
      • ‘As with the term ‘evidence’ as used to describe the material before the delegates, it seems to be borrowed from the universe of discourse which has civil litigation as its subject.’
      • ‘Also challenged is the view that conversion entails changes in the beliefs, values, identities, and the universe of discourse of individuals.’
      • ‘In such a universe of discourse, one opinion is as good as another since none has foundations any stronger than the claims offered by each other's rhetorical cheering squads, thus leaving everything ‘indeterminate.’’
      • ‘This arrangement, however, has the unusual feature that, for every grammatical subject of such a universally quantified sentence, there will be a different universe of discourse.’


Late Middle English: from Old French univers or Latin universum, neuter of universus ‘combined into one, whole’, from uni- ‘one’ + versus ‘turned’ (past participle of vertere).