The Meaning of Ubiquitous: What It Is and How To Use It

Do you know the definition of ubiquitous? This article will provide you with all of the information you need on the word ubiquitous, including its definition, usage, word origin, example sentences, and more!

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What does the word ubiquitous mean?

According to the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language and other such sources like American Heritage and Collins English Dictionary, the word ubiquitous means existing or being everywhere constantly or at the same time. Something that is ubiquitous is widespread or has omnipresence. The pronunciation of ubiquitous is ​yuˈbɪkwɪtəs. Ubiquitous is four syllables: u-biq-ui-tous.

There are many different languages that use words that mean ubiquitous. You may notice that sometimes different languages have words that are very close to English words or to words of other languages. This is usually because the words share a root or origin. Often, cognates, which are words that look, sound, and mean something similar across languages, are formed when words share an origin. This list of translations for the word ubiquitous is provided by Word Sense.

  •  Turkish: aynı zamanda her yerde bulunan‎, hazır ve nazır‎
  •  Russian: вездесу́щий‎
  •  Italian: ubiquitario‎ (masc.), onnipresente‎ (masc.)
  •  Nynorsk: allstadnærværande‎
  •  Japanese: 遍在‎
  •  Mandarin: 無處不在‎, 无处不在‎, 無所不在‎, 无所不在‎
  •  German: allgegenwärtig‎, überall vorhanden‎, ubiquitär‎ (rare), überall verbreitet‎
  •  Spanish: ubicuo‎
  •  Afrikaans: alomteenwoordig‎
  •  Macedonian: сеприсутен‎
  •  Latin: ubique‎, ens ubique‎, omnipraesens‎, ens undique‎
  •  Urdu: Har jaga‎
  •  Swedish: allestädes närvarande‎, allmänt utbredd‎
  •  Dutch: alomtegenwoordig‎
  •  Occitan: ubic‎, ubiquïsta‎, ubiquïtari‎, omnipresent‎
  •  Polish: wszędobylski‎, wszechobecny‎ (masc.)
  •  Portuguese: ubíquo‎ (masc.), omnipresente‎, onipresente‎
  •  Danish: allestedsnærværende‎
  •  Bokmål: allestedsnærværende‎
  •  Finnish: kaikkialla läsnä oleva‎, ubiikki‎
  •  Romanian: ubicuu‎, omniprezent‎ (masc.), omniprezentă‎ (fem.)
  •  Catalan: ubic‎
  •  Galician: ubicuo‎
  •  Hungarian: mindenütt jelen levő‎
  •  Czech: všudypřítomný‎ (masc.)
  •  French: ubiquiste‎, ubiquitaire‎, omniprésent‎

How can the word ubiquitous be used in a sentence?

The word ubiquitous can be used in many different sentences in the English language. Using words in a sentence is a great way to memorize their definitions. You can also try making quizzes for yourself or testing yourself with flashcards. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today! Below are several examples of ubiquitous.

The ubiquitous fog was atypical for the July morning, unlike the June gloom. Usually the family would take their bikes to the tar pits to ride around, but there was far too little visibility. 

We planned to have a nice picnic the first weekend in September, but the ubiquitous little ants got all over everything. They even infested our refrigerators.

Ubiquitous computing had a major boom in the 1980s. With the advent of new materials applied to underlying technologies, we began to create the operating system, mobile devices, smartphones, tablets, and internet we see today. What were once startups working on mobile protocols, user interfaces and mobile code are now some of the biggest tech conglomerates in the world.

Within a religious context, Muslims are far more ubiquitous worldwide than Christians or Jews, but it feels reversed in the West.

The sensors quickly became ubiquitous at Princeton University. Students had to scan their cards to get into the library, gym, dining halls, and every building on campus. It was a great feature for security purposes, but students quickly became frustrated if they forgot their ID card on their way to class. They either had to be late or miss class altogether. 

Some of the biggest cities in the world have ubiquitous air quality problems. You can see the smog on the sidewalks of China and preventing a view of the Los Angeles mountains.

What is the origin of the word ubiquitous?

According to Etymonline, the word ubiquitous has been used since 1800 to mean omnipresent. Earlier, it was spelled as the Middle English ubiquitary in 1600. This comes from the noun ubiquity, from the Modern Latin ubiquitarius and Latin ubīque/ubique/​ubī. One can add the suffixes ty,  ly and ness to make the related words ubiquity (n.),  ubiquitously (adv.) and ubiquitousness (n.).

What are synonyms and antonyms of ubiquitous?

There are a variety of different words that one can use in place of the word ubiquitous. These are called synonyms, which are words and phrases that have the same or a similar meaning as another word or phrase. Synonyms are useful to know if you are trying to expand your vocabulary as well as if you are trying to avoid repeating yourself. This list of synonyms for the word ubiquitous is provided by Thesaurus.

  •  wall-to-wall
  •  pole to pole
  •  in all quarters
  •  near and far
  •  here and there
  •  pervasive
  •  the world over
  •  omnipresent
  •  all around
  •  ubiquitary
  •  all over creation
  •  in every direction
  •  in each place
  •  all over
  •  universally
  •  high and low
  •  overall
  •  inside and out
  •  far and wide
  •  throughout
  •  universal
  •  all-over
  •  here till Sunday
  •  everywhere
  •  all over the map
  •  in every place

There are also numerous words and phrases that are antonyms for the word ubiquitous (juːˈbɪkwətəs). Antonyms are words and phrases that have the opposite meaning as another word or phrase. Opposite words are helpful to know if you are trying to expand your knowledge of the English language. This list of antonyms is provided by Thesaurus as well.

  •  nothing
  •  blackness
  •  emptiness
  •  nullity
  •  eclipse
  •  void
  •  nowhere
  •  extinction
  •  nonexistence
  •  nirvana
  •  darkness
  •  oblivion
  •  out there
  •  nihility
  •  limbo

Overall, the word ubiquitous means omnipresent or everywhere. Something that is ubiquitous is very well known and seems to exist in all places at once. This word is of Latin and Proto-Indo-European roots. Try using this word of the day in a sentence today to memorize its definition!

Sources:

  1. Ubiquitous | Meaning, Origin, Translations | Word Sense
  2. ubiquitous | Origin and meaning of ubiquitous | Online Etymology Dictionary 
  3. UBIQUITOUS Synonyms: 9 Synonyms & Antonyms for UBIQUITOUS | Thesaurus 
  4. OBLIVION Synonyms: 42 Synonyms & Antonyms for OBLIVION | Thesaurus 
  5. Ubiquitous | Definition of Ubiquitous | Merriam-Webster