Monday, August 8, 2011


Campus \KAM-puhs\ , noun;
1. The grounds, often including the buildings, of a college, university, or school
2. A college or university
3. A division of a university that has its own grounds, buildings, and faculty but is administratively joined to the rest of the university
4. The world of higher education
5. A large, usually suburban, landscaped business or industrial site

Campus was first attested in 1774 in reference to Princeton University, the first college to use the word. It comes from Latin campus, which means "a field" or "a surrounded expanse". The Latin word derives from Proto-Indo-European *kampos ("a corner, cove") from the base *kamp- ("to bend"). The Oxford English Dictionary lists an additional transitive verb definition: "To confine to the campus". This usage is considered US colloquial and is first attested in 1928. So, you can be campused to the campus.

In terms of word spawning, Latin campus is quite prolific. It is a forebear of scamper, champion, campaign, camp, Camember (the cheese and the village in France), kulturkampf¹, and possibly some others.

1. Kulturkampf is a word with a highly specialized usage. It is first attested in 1879 and means "struggle between the German government and the Catholic Church over control of educational and ecclesiastical appointments from 1872-1886". It comes from German (duh) and is literally "struggle for culture" from Kulter + Kampf where kampf ("combat, fight, struggle") is derived from Latin campus ("field, battlefield")

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