Main definitions of universal in English

: universal1Universal2


Pronunciación /ˌyo͞onəˈvərsəl/ /ˌjunəˈvərsəl/

See synonyms for universal

Traducir universal al español


  • 1Of, affecting, or done by all people or things in the world or in a particular group; applicable to all cases.

    ‘universal adult suffrage’
    • ‘the incidents caused universal concern’
    • ‘Trinidad was granted universal adult suffrage in 1945.’
    • ‘After World War II, universal adult suffrage was introduced and a party system was developed.’
    • ‘It is rooted in a specific place and culture, but the concerns are universal.’
    • ‘Men and women tend to have different physiology, though this is neither a universal, hard-and-fast rule nor a completely made up one.’
    • ‘Laughter is a universal and prominent feature of human communication.’
    • ‘Each nation developed its own language of commemoration, but some features were universal.’
    • ‘Because multicellularity is an experiment that's been run many times in the history of life, scientists may be able to discover some universal rules for how it comes about.’
    • ‘One universal rule is that dogs cannot fly on a plane without the owner on board.’
    • ‘Looking at evolutionary biology, the body's ability to transmit and receive healing energy is a natural and universal design feature of the living system.’
    • ‘I know this is a long way from terrorism, but the rules of logic are universal (arguably).’
    • ‘The first step is to examine the outline of the eight universal features that researchers suggest need to be present in all programs to support youth.’
    • ‘There is no universal rule what ad or what message works.’
    • ‘It is true that some people use pointer in a broader sense more-or-less equivalent to reference, so the distinction made above is not universal.’
    • ‘However, he denies that it is the most general, or universal, concept in the sense of being the highest genus of entities.’
    • ‘The show's concept is the universal feeling that life will be better in another place.’
    • ‘A proposal for a universal 30% increase in child benefit for all children in the 0-5 years category is being examined.’
    • ‘Workers become the universal class, the primary agent of history, by acting on that self-understanding.’
    • ‘I was thinking - in a rather casual way - both about rights created by law, and about rights which are asserted as universal.’
    • ‘The author of this amusing and admirable history of the English language argues powerfully for universal linguistic tolerance.’
    • ‘In fact, nature has found body language so universal that recognition of certain movements is preprogrammed into our brains.’
    general, ubiquitous, comprehensive, common, omnipresent, all-embracing, all-inclusive, all-round, across the board
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Logic Denoting a proposition in which something is asserted of all of a class.
      Contrasted with particular
      • ‘He connects it with the thesis that only universal propositions can be known.’
    2. 1.2Lingüística Denoting or relating to a grammatical rule, set of rules, or other linguistic feature that is found in all languages.
      • ‘Instead, slang and universal loanwords are used, a so - called ‘globespeak.’’
    3. 1.3(of a tool or machine) adjustable to or appropriate for all requirements; not restricted to a single purpose or position.
      ‘As a universal machine, the computer and particularly its software are the centre of interest.’
      • ‘Today the computer is the universal machine that is driving the Information Age.’
      • ‘There's a yawning chasm between their user-experience of partially-universal machines and universal machines.’
      • ‘It is the universal tool that permits the development of multimedia driven complex games.’
      • ‘A Halligan tool is a universal tool that has been used by firefighters for years.’
      • ‘Within two or three years, several true electronic universal machines had been built.’
      • ‘A universal needle can be used in all household sewing machines that accept a flat shank.’
      • ‘Often technologies from Europe and the U.S. are presented as universal tools that can be used anywhere in the world, with equal effectiveness and efficiency.’
      • ‘Use a 90/14 universal needle and good-quality polyester thread.’
      • ‘Use a ballpoint or universal needle for sewing knit fabrics.’
      • ‘And, our engine is quite universal, so we plan to license it as the stand-alone product.’
      • ‘Turing's construction of a universal machine gives the most fundamental insight into computation: one machine can run any program whatsoever.’
      • ‘The importance of the universal machine is clear.’
      • ‘Soon I had a sprinkler, a universal tap adaptor, and 7.5 metres of soaker hose.’
      • ‘If you get skipped stitches with a universal needle, change to a ball-point needle for heavier fabrics or a stretch needle for finer knits.’
      • ‘A ballpoint needle has the most rounded tip and an embroidery needle has a very slightly curved tip - a universal needle is in between.’
      • ‘The computer is the nearest thing we have to a universal tool.’
      • ‘The universal Turing machine is a hypothetical device that scans a digital tape and, in principle, can solve any computable problem.’
      • ‘The sections are crushed at a constant rate in a universal testing machine, while the force required is recorded.’
      • ‘These primers were used together and in combination with the universal primers as appropriate.’


  • 1A person or thing having universal effect, currency, or application.

    1. 1.1Logic A universal proposition.
      ‘If laws are thought of in some other way - for example, as involving relations of necessitation amongst universals - then the proposal may be more promising.’
      • ‘Consider as a definiendum a universal, such as man, and its definiens, rational animal.’
    2. 1.2Filosofía A term or concept of general application.
      ‘If we move from universals to concepts in general, we can see how category theory could be useful even in cognitive science.’
      • ‘The Idea is composed of universals, general concepts, whereas Nature comprises myriads of particular things.’
      • ‘Abelard defends his thesis that universals are nothing but words by arguing that ontological realism about universals is incoherent.’
      • ‘Abandoning Kantian universals, he looks for more adequate universals for the present, ones that relate to the ordinary everyday lives of ordinary everyday people.’
      • ‘For example, one might want to divide the category of universals into the two sub-categories of properties and relations.’
    3. 1.3Filosofía A nature or essence signified by a general term.
      ‘Human existence has remained under the influence of myths, these being claims to timeless and incontrovertible truths - in essence, universals.’
      • ‘Secondly, are the universals of human nature claimed by academic psychology more accurately seen as Western or Euroamerican patterns?’
      • ‘Conceptualists hold that universals are mental constructions and traditional nominalists hold that either universals are linguistic constructions or they do not exist at all.’
      • ‘Those who think there is some actual universal existing outside the mind are called realists; those who deny extra-mental universals are called nominalists.’
      • ‘Typical advocates of this view admit that universals exist, after a fashion, but they deny that universals have any existence independent of their instances.’
    4. 1.4Lingüística A universal grammatical rule or linguistic feature.
      ‘And I suspect that it's a linguistic universal for farm animals, crops and food products to figure in terms of disdain and abuse.’
      • ‘There are aspects of anaphoric universals which clearly are of a grammatical nature; there are also aspects of anaphoric universals which equally clearly are of a pragmatic nature.’
      • ‘Because of this, the sentence as understood in the Western linguistic tradition has not yet been unequivocally established as a universal of language.’


Late Middle English from Old French, or from Latin universalis, from universus (see universe).

Main definitions of Universal in English

: universal1Universal2


Pronunciación /ˌyo͞onəˈvərsəl/ /ˌjunəˈvərsəl/

See synonyms for Universal

Traducir Universal al español

proper noun

  • A movie production company formed by Carl Laemmle in 1912, one of the first studios to move from New York to the Los Angeles area. The company merged with MCA (Music Corporation of America) in 1962. The company produced movies starring Abbott and Costello, the series of Sherlock Holmes movies featuring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, and blockbusters such as ET The Extra-Terrestrial (1982).