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[sem-uh-ner-ee] /ˈsɛm əˌnɛr i/
noun, plural seminaries.
a special school providing education in theology, religious history, etc., primarily to prepare students for the priesthood, ministry, or rabbinate.
a school, especially one of higher grade.
a school of secondary or higher level for young women.
seminar (def 1).
a place of origin and propagation:
a seminary of discontent.
Origin of seminary
1400-50; late Middle English: seed plot, nursery < Latin sēminārium, equivalent to sēmin- (stem of sēmen) seed, semen + -ārium -ary
Related forms
seminarial, adjective
preseminary, adjective, noun, plural preseminaries. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for seminary
  • Throw a little seminary training on top and you have a decent measure of the guy-complicated, interested, clever and unbounded.
  • At best they outsource instruction in this area to the local seminary.
  • And, equally important, this represents a change in seminary training from previous decades.
  • The reason why they work is they need to support their large families, while the husbands go to seminary.
  • My first thought would be to check to see if your seminary has an equivalent of a placement office or career center.
  • We both were interested in theology, maybe even in seminary.
British Dictionary definitions for seminary


noun (pl) -naries
an academy for the training of priests, rabbis, etc
(US) another word for seminar (sense 1)
a place where something is grown
Derived Forms
seminarial, adjective
Word Origin
C15: from Latin sēminārium a nursery garden, from sēmen seed
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 seminary

mid-15c., "plot where plants are raised from seeds," from Latin seminarium "plant nursery, seed plot," figuratively, "breeding ground," from seminarius "of seed," from semen (genitive seminis) "seed" (see semen). Meaning "school for training priests" first recorded 1580s; commonly used for any school (especially academies for young ladies) from 1580s to 1930s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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