Definition of school noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

    where children learn
  1. 1  [countable] a place where children go to be educated My brother and I went to the same school. (formal) Which school do they attend? I'm going to the school today to talk to Kim's teacher. We need more money for roads, hospitals and schools. school buildings Grammar Pointschool When a school is being referred to as an institution, you do not need to use the:When do the children finish school? When you are talking about a particular building, the is used:I’ll meet you outside the school. Prison, jail, court, and church work in the same way:Her husband spent three years in prison. note at college, hospital see also church school, community school See related entries: Public spaces
  2. 2  [uncountable] (used without the or a) the process of learning in a school; the time during your life when you go to a school (British English) to start/leave school (North American English) to start/quit school Where did you go to school? (British English) All my kids are still at school. (North American English) All my kids are still in school. (North American English) to teach school (= teach in a school) The transition from school to work can be difficult. British/​Americanat / in school In British English somebody who is attending school is at school:I was at school with her sister. In North American English in school is used:I have a ten-year-old in school. In school in North American English can also mean ‘attending a university’. CollocationsEducationLearning acquire/​get/​lack (an) education/​training/(British English) (some) qualifications receive/​provide somebody with training/​tuition develop/​design/​plan a curriculum/(especially British English) course/(North American English) program/​syllabus give/​go to/​attend a class/​lesson/​lecture/​seminar hold/​run/​conduct a class/​seminar/​workshop sign up for/​take a course/​classes/​lessonsSchool go to/​start preschool/​kindergarten/​nursery school be in the first, second, etc. (North American English) grade/(especially British English) year (at school) study/​take/​drop history/​chemistry/​German, etc. (British English) leave/​finish/​drop out of/ (North American English) quit school (North American English) graduate high school/​collegeProblems at school be the victim/​target of bullying (British English) play truant from/ (both British English, informal) bunk off/​skive off school (= not go to school when you should) (both especially North American English) skip/​cut class/​school (British English) cheat in/(North American English) cheat on an exam/​a test get/​be given a detention (for doing something) be expelled from/​be suspended from schoolWork and exams do your homework/(British English) revision/​a project on something work on/​write/​do/​submit an essay/​a dissertation/​a thesis/​an assignment/(North American English) a paper finish/​complete your dissertation/​thesis/​studies/​coursework hand in/ (North American English) turn in your homework/​essay/​assignment/​paper study/​prepare/ (British English) revise/ (North American English) review/ (North American English, informal) cram for a test/​an exam take/ (both British English) do/​sit a test/​an exam (especially British English) mark/ (especially North American English) grade homework/​a test (British English) do well in/ (North American English) do well on/ (informal, especially North American English) ace a test/​an exam pass/​fail/ (informal, especially North American English) flunk a test/​an exam/​a class/​a course/​a subjectUniversity apply to/​get into/​go to/​start college/(British English) university leave/​graduate from law school/​college/(British English) university (with a degree in computer science) study for/​take/ (British English) do/​complete a law degree/​a degree in physics (both North American English) major/​minor in biology/​philosophy earn/​receive/​be awarded/​get/​have/​hold a master’s degree/​a bachelor’s degree/​a PhD in economics
  3. 3  [uncountable] (used without the or a) the time during the day when children are working in a school Shall I meet you after school today? School begins at 9. The kids are at/in school until 3.30. after-school activities See related entries: School life
  4. students and teachers
  5. 4  the school [singular] all the children or students and the teachers in a school I had to stand up in front of the whole school.
  6. for particular skill
  7. 5  [countable] (often in compounds) a place where people go to learn a particular subject or skill a drama/language/riding, etc. school
  8. college/university
  9. 6  [countable, uncountable] (North American English, informal) a college or university; the time that you spend there famous schools like Yale and Harvard Where did you go to school? see also graduate school See related entries: Higher education institutions
  10. 7  [countable] a department of a college or university that teaches a particular subject the business/medical/law school the School of Dentistry See related entries: Higher education institutions
  11. of writers/artists
  12. 8[countable] a group of writers, artists, etc. whose style of work or opinions have been influenced by the same person or ideas the Dutch school of painting
  13. of fish
  14. 9[countable] a large number of fish or other sea animals, swimming together a school of dolphins compare shoal There are many compounds ending in school. You will find them at their place in the alphabet. See related entries: Groups of animals
  15. Word Originnoun senses 1 to 8 Old English scōl, scolu, via Latin from Greek skholē ‘leisure, philosophy, lecture-place’, reinforced in Middle English by Old French escole. noun sense 9 late Middle English: from Middle Low German, Middle Dutch schōle, of West Germanic origin; related to Old English scolu ‘troop’. Compare with shoal sense (1).Extra examples Are the children still in school? Eric is off school again. He runs a karate school in San Jose, California. He was expelled from school for verbally abusing his teacher. His mum kept him off school for two weeks when he was ill. It is a failing school with some of the worst results in the city. It was just a typical school day. My parents let me stay home from school yesterday. She attends a special school for children with learning difficulties. She didn’t do very well at school. She teaches elementary school in Atlanta. She’s a middle-school teacher. She’s got four children of school age. The next day was Monday, a school day. Their son’s at the school near the station. We’re going to play football after school. You don’t need to keep your child home from school because of a cough. a range of after-school activities school-age children the cleverest child in the school An announcement was made to the whole school His parents went to the school to talk to his teacher. I’ll meet you outside the school. In Britain children start school when they are five. More money is needed for roads, hospitals and schools. My sister and I went to the same school. My younger son is still at school. She wants to go to drama school. The university has a school of dentistry. a language/​riding school an elementary/​a junior high/​a high school an infant/​a junior/​a primary/​a secondary school to teach school He had very little schooling.Idioms an old-fashioned person who likes to do things as they were done in the past see also old school a way of thinking that a number of people share There are two schools of thought about how this illness should be treated. He belongs to the school of thought that says that competition can be very stimulating for children.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: school