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[sem-uh-nahr] /ˈsɛm əˌnɑr/
a small group of students, as in a university, engaged in advanced study and original research under a member of the faculty and meeting regularly to exchange information and hold discussions.
the gathering place of such a group.
a meeting of such a group.
a course or subject of study for advanced graduate students.
any meeting for exchanging information and holding discussions.
1885-90, Americanism; < German < Latin sēminārium seminary Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for seminar
  • Many departments invite guest speakers to give a talk and spend a day or two visiting as part of a seminar series.
  • The programme concludes with an eight-week in-company consulting project and a final careers seminar.
  • Hopefully the seminar leader won't feel uncomfortable handling this situation, but it's a tricky one.
  • There is a two-day career-planning seminar in the first-year fall semester.
  • The seminar is being held in a large, mealy-carpeted room at the back of a church.
  • Holm defended himself at the seminar by saying that he wanted to start a conversation.
  • The best teaching doesn't always happen around a seminar table.
  • So of course my seminar comes up in conversation but pointing to another blog where she whines about it.
  • Does not include scholars on short-term seminar programs.
  • Finally, a mathematician in one seminar said he never spoke when the group met because its pace was too fast for him.
British Dictionary definitions for seminar


a small group of students meeting regularly under the guidance of a tutor, professor, etc, to exchange information, discuss theories, etc
one such meeting or the place in which it is held
a higher course for postgraduates
any group or meeting for holding discussions or exchanging information
Word Origin
C19: via German from Latin sēmināriumseminary
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for seminar

1887, "special group-study class for advanced students," from German Seminar "group of students working with a professor," from Latin seminarium "breeding ground, plant nursery" (see seminary). Sense of "meeting for discussion of a subject" first recorded 1944.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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