of, pertaining to, or characteristic of all or the whole: universal experience.
applicable everywhere or in all cases; general: a universal cure.
affecting, concerning, or involving all: universal military service.
used or understood by all: a universal language.
present everywhere: the universal calm of southern seas.
versed in or embracing many or all skills, branches of learning, etc.: Leonardo da Vinci was a universal genius.
of or pertaining to the universe, all nature, or all existing things: universal cause.
characterizing all or most members of a class; generic.
Logic. (of a proposition) asserted of every member of a class.
Linguistics. found in all languages or belonging to the human language faculty.
Machinery. noting any of various machines, tools, or devices widely adaptable in position, range of use, etc.
(of metal plates and shapes) rolled in a universal mill.
(of a rolling mill or rolling method) having or employing vertical edging rolls.
something that may be applied throughout the universe to many things, usually thought of as an entity that can be in many places at the same time.
a trait, characteristic, or property, as distinguished from a particular individual or event, that can be possessed in common, as the care of a mother for her young.
Logic. a universal proposition.
a general term or concept or the generic nature that such a term signifies; a Platonic idea or Aristotelian form.
an entity that remains unchanged in character in a series of changes or changing relations.
Hegelianism. concrete universal.
Machinery, universal joint.

1325–75; Middle English universel (adj.) < Middle French < Latin ūniversālis. See universe, -al1

universalness, noun
nonuniversal, adjective, noun
nonuniversally, adverb
quasi-universal, adjective
quasi-universally, adverb
subuniversal, adjective
superuniversal, adjective
superuniversally, adverb
superuniversalness, noun

5. See general.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
universal (ˌjuːnɪˈvɜːsəl)
1.  of, relating to, or typical of the whole of mankind or of nature
2.  common to, involving, or proceeding from all in a particular group
3.  applicable to or affecting many individuals, conditions, or cases; general
4.  existing or prevailing everywhere
5.  applicable or occurring throughout or relating to the universe; cosmic: a universal constant
6.  (esp of a language) capable of being used and understood by all
7.  embracing or versed in many fields of knowledge, activity, interest, etc
8.  machinery designed or adapted for a range of sizes, fittings, or uses
9.  linguistics (of a constraint in a formal grammar) common to the grammatical description of all human languages, actual or possible
10.  logic Compare particular (of a statement or proposition) affirming or denying something about every member of a class, as in all men are wicked
11.  philosophy
 a.  a general term or concept or the type such a term signifies
 b.  See also realism a metaphysical entity taken to be the reference of a general term, as distinct from the class of individuals it describes
 c.  a Platonic Idea or Aristotelian form
12.  logic
 a.  a universal proposition, statement, or formula
 b.  a universal quantifier
13.  a characteristic common to every member of a particular culture or to every human being
14.  short for universal joint
usage  The use of more universal as in his writings have long been admired by fellow scientists, but his latest book should have more universal appeal is acceptable in modern English usage

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 14c., from O.Fr. universel (12c.), from L. universalis "of or belonging to all," from universus "all together, whole, entire" (see universe). In mechanics, a universal joint (1676) is one which allows free movement in any direction; in theology universalism (1805)
is the doctrine of universal salvation (universalist in this sense is attested from 1626). Universal product code is recorded from 1974.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Universal insurance coverage has become the touchstone of the debate over
  health care.
Friendship may be slipping from our grasp, but our friendliness is universal.
Putting together a coalition for universal health insurance not so much.
In psychology, it is a well-known finding that a small set of facial
  expressions of emotion is universal.
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