A school for special instruction. A secondary or college-preparatory school, especially a private one. The academic community; academe: "When there's moral leadership from the White House and from the academy, people tend to adjust\u201d ( Jesse Jackson). Higher education in general. Used with the. A society of scholars, scientists, or artists. Plato's school for advanced education and the first institutional school of philosophy. Platonism. The disciples of Plato.