(noun, adjective)


1. of worldwide scope or applicability

- universal experience

Similar word(s): comprehensive, cosmopolitan, ecumenical, general, oecumenical, worldwide

2. applicable to or common to all members of a group or set

- the play opened to universal acclaim

- rap enjoys universal appeal among teenage boys

Similar word(s): general

3. adapted to various purposes, sizes, forms, operations

- universal wrench

- universal chuck

- universal screwdriver

Similar word(s): adaptable

Sentences with universal as an adjective:

- She achieved universal fame.


1. (linguistics) a grammatical rule (or other linguistic feature) that is found in all languages

Definition categories: communication, rule

2. (logic) a proposition that asserts something of all members of a class

Definition categories: communication, proposition

3. a behavioral convention or pattern characteristic of all members of a particular culture or of all human beings

- some form of religion seems to be a human universal

Definition categories: thought, convention, formula, normal, pattern, rule

4. coupling that connects two rotating shafts allowing freedom of movement in all directions

- in motor vehicles a universal joint allows the driveshaft to move up and down as the vehicle passes over bumps

Definition categories: man–made, coupler, coupling