Pronunciation: (yOO"nu-vûr'sul),[key] —adj. 1. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of all or the whole: universal experience. 2. applicable everywhere or in all cases; general: a universal cure. 3. affecting, concerning, or involving all: universal military service. 4. used or understood by all: a universal language. 5. present everywhere: the universal calm of southern seas. 6. versed in or embracing many or all skills, branches of learning, etc.: Leonardo da Vinci was a universal genius. 7. of or pertaining to the universe, all nature, or all existing things: universal cause. 8. characterizing all or most members of a class; generic.
9. Logic.(of a proposition) asserted of every member of a class.
10. Ling.found in all languages or belonging to the human language faculty.
11. Mach.noting any of various machines, tools, or devices widely adaptable in position, range of use, etc.
12. Metalworking. a. (of metal plates and shapes) rolled in a universal mill.
b. (of a rolling mill or rolling method) having or employing vertical edging rolls.
—n. 1. something that may be applied throughout the universe to many things, usually thought of as an entity that can be in many places at the same time.
2. a trait, characteristic, or property, as distinguished from a particular individual or event, that can be possessed in common, as the care of a mother for her young.
3. Logic.a universal proposition.
4. Philos. a. a general term or concept or the generic nature that such a term signifies; a Platonic idea or Aristotelian form.
b. an entity that remains unchanged in character in a series of changes or changing relations.
c. Hegelianism.See concrete universal. 5. See language universal. 6. Mach.See universal joint.