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c.1300, "institution of higher learning," also "body of persons constituting a university," from Anglo-French université, Old French universitei (13c.), from Medieval Latin universitatem (nominative universitas), in Late Latin "corporation, society," from Latin, "the whole, aggregate," from universus "whole, entire" (see universe). In the academic sense, a shortening of universitas magistrorum et scholarium "community of masters and scholars;" superseded studium as the word for this.