Student Dictionary

One entry found for seminary.
Main Entry: sem·i·nary
Pronunciation: primarystresssem-schwa-secondarystressner-emacron
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural -nar·ies
Etymology: Middle English seminary "seedbed, nursery, from Latin seminarium (same meaning), from semen "seed"
1 : a private school at or above the high school level
2 : a school for the training of priests, ministers, or rabbis
Word History The English word seminary and its Latin source seminarium, a derivative of semen, "seed," both originally denoted a nursery for young plants. Roman authors sometimes used the Latin word figuratively, but English has gone much further in extending the meaning of the word, while the old sense "nursery for plants" is now obsolete. The use of seminary in reference to training schools for Roman Catholic clergy dates from the 16th century. Today the word refers equally to Catholic, Protestant, or Jewish colleges for training priests, ministers, or rabbis. Seminary has also been applied to other kinds of schools. When they were first formed in the 19th century, colleges for women were called "female seminaries" or "seminaries for young ladies."

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