DI- twice; two-; double.
DI-VERSE: showing a great deal of variety; very different.
DI-VERS-ITY: the state of being diverse; variety.

UNI- one; having or consisting of one.

While, by definition, "universe" means "the cosmos," and "university" means a college, would it be wrong to use them in a sense meaning the opposite of "diverse" or "diversity"?
i.e. The university of the establishment is quite the opposite of its diverse counterpart.

  • 1
    I'm afraid that niche has been taken by universality, although that still has a slightly different meaning. Off-topic: it's is short for it is, its is possessive.
    – oerkelens
    Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 11:13
  • 21
    Reminds me of a joke I heard about Congress being against progress, and the Constitution against prostitution. Ours is a weird language.
    – cobaltduck
    Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 14:22
  • 9
    Language is not logical in the conventional sense. It is not designed. It grows organically, without oversight or governance, emerging from the minds and mouths and hands of millions and billions of people over hundreds and thousands of years. This is why any argument which seeks to impose logic on language, to treat natural language as it it were algebra, refactoring it, making substitutions, cavilling about redundacy or contradictions .. this is why any such argument ultimately founders. Language is not algebra. We have to abandon that notion.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 14:54
  • 1
    If "di-" was a number prefix here (and the answer points out that it is not) it is from Greek not Latin, so your proposed word should be "monoversity."
    – alephzero
    Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 15:20
  • 2
    You might be looking for the word 'unity'. Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 20:12

3 Answers 3


Ignoring the fact that the word "university" doesn't mean the opposite of "diversity," your logic has a flaw: The "di-versity" comes from the Latin di(s)vers-, which has the same "dis" as in the Latin synonym divertere, namely "apart." Both words mean "to turn away."

"Dy-," meaning two, comes from Greek. "Twice" in Latin is bis.

  • 5
    Moreover universus, from which university ultimately comes from, means whole and not one (a university is a *community*(=together, the whole) of students and teachers).
    – Bakuriu
    Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 14:40
  • 3
    @Bakuriu Well, uni-versus can be understood as one-sided or that-which-doesn't-changed-when-turned Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 15:42
  • 2
    @Bakuriu whole is as one, joined, together. The usage of whole and one here are synonymous.
    – Jim
    Commented Aug 24, 2015 at 19:30

Somehow, the meaning consisting of one does not imply that it is not diverse.

Indeed, the meaning of universe, which is the one that everything is included in, implies that it has everything and thus it entails a huge diversity.


The original question should be answered in the affirmative: "Universus" literally means "turned into one" "Diversus" literally means "Turned different ways"

Obviously, one thing cannot be both turned into one and yet set in different directions at the same time.

As to whether the universe is diverse, if the answer is "yes" it is because the terms are not being used literally; "universe" merely referring to a large group of things (but not turning them into one thing), and "diverse" merely referring to a multitude of observed properties that things in the large group (universe) possess.

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