9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[vahr-si-tee] /ˈvɑr sɪ ti/
noun, plural varsities.
any first-string team, especially in sports, that represents a school, college, university, or the like:
He is on the varsity in tennis and in debating.
Chiefly British Informal. university.
of or relating to a university or school team, activity, or competition:
a varsity debater.
Origin of varsity
1840-50; compare versity university, in 17th century; pronunciation probably preserves historical outcome of Middle English ĕr, as in varmint
Related forms
intervarsity, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for varsity
  • Furthermore, he ruled that the university's cheerleading did not qualify as a varsity sport.
  • There he went in for running, and made both the freshman and the varsity swimming team.
  • She practiced all spring, and the next fall she was named to the varsity team, which went to the final four our senior year.
  • She did not play varsity sports, even though people were always telling her she should.
  • The gym is used not only by varsity teams but also for club sports, social events, and concerts.
  • By his junior year he was the starting varsity shortstop.
  • There was a test coming up, and he needed to do well in order to be eligible to play varsity football the next year.
  • The longest winning streak in the history of intercollegiate varsity sports has ended.
British Dictionary definitions for varsity


noun (pl) -ties
(Brit & NZ, South African, informal) university, formerly used esp at the universities of Oxford and Cambridge
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 varsity

1846, "university," variant of earlier versity (1670s), shortened form of university.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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