1. Of, relating to, or affecting the entire universe: the universal laws of physics.
2. Including, relating to, or affecting all members of the class or group under consideration; applicable in all cases: universal vaccination; universal suffrage. See Synonyms at general.
3. Done, produced, or shared by all members of the class or group under consideration: a discovery that met with universal acclaim.
4. Adapted or adjustable to many sizes, uses, or devices: a universal remote control.
5. Logic Encompassing all of the members of a class or group. Used of a proposition.
a. A universal proposition.
b. A general or abstract concept or term considered absolute or axiomatic.
2. A general or widely held principle, concept, or notion.
3. A trait or pattern of behavior characteristic of all the members of a particular culture or of all humans.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.