Definition for SCHOOL

SCHOOL, n. [L. schola; Gr. σχολη, leisure, vacation from business, lucubration at leisure, a place where leisure is enjoyed, a school. The adverb signifies at ease, leisurely, slowly, hardly, with labor or difficulty. In Sax. sceol is a crowd, a multitude, a school, (shoal,) as of fishes, and a school for instruction. So also scol, scolu, a school; but the latter sense, I think, must have been derived from the Latin. D. school, an academy and a crowd; schoolen, to flock together; G. schule, a school for instruction; D. skole; Sw. skola; W. ysgol; Arm. scol; Fr. ecole; It. scuola; Sp. escuela; Port. escola; Sans. schala. This word seems originally to have denoted leisure, freedom from business, a time given to sports, games, or exercises, and afterward time given to literary studies. The sense of a crowd, collection, or shoal, seems to be derivative.]

  1. A place or house in which persons are instructed in arts, science, languages, or any species of learning; or the pupils assembled for instruction. In American usage, school more generally denotes the collective body of pupils in any place of instruction, and under the direction and discipline of one or more teachers. Thus we say, a school consists of fifty pupils. The preceptor has a large school, or a small school. His discipline keeps the school well regulated and quiet.
  2. The instruction or exercises of a collection of pupils or; students, or the collective body of pupils while engaged in their studies. Thus we say, the school begins or opens at eight o'clock, that is, the pupils at that hour begin their studies. So we say, the teacher is now in school, the school hours are from nine to twelve, and from two to five.
  3. The state of instruction. Set him betimes to school. – Dryden.
  4. A place of education, or collection of pupils, of any kind; as, the school of the prophets. In modern usage, the word school comprehends every place of education, as university, college, academy, common or primary schools, dancing-schools, riding-schools, &c.; but ordinarily the word is applied to seminaries inferior to universities and colleges. What is the great community of Christians, but one of the innumerable schools in the vast plan, which God has instituted for the education of various intelligences. – Buckminster.
  5. Separate denomination or sect; or a system of doctrine taught by particular teachers, or peculiar to any denomination of Christians or philosophers. Let no man be less confident in his faith … by reason of any difference in the several schools of Christians. – Taylor. Thus we say, the Socratic school, the Platonic school, the Peripatetic or Ionic school; by which we understand all those who adopted and adhered to a particular system of opinions.
  6. The seminaries for teaching logic, metaphysics, and theology, which were formed in the middle ages, and which were characterized by academical disputations and subtilties of reasoning; or the learned men who were engaged in discussing nice points in metaphysics or theology. The supreme authority of Aristotle in the schools of theology as well as of philosophy. – Henry. Hence, school divinity is the divinity which discusses nice points, and proves every thing by argument.
  7. Any place of improvement or learning. The world is an excellent school to wise men, but a school of vice to fools. Primary school, a school for instructing children in the first rudiments of language and literature; called also common school, because ii is open to the children of all the inhabitants in a town or district.

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