# Universe (mathematics)

## All-encompassing set or class / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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In mathematics, and particularly in set theory, category theory, type theory, and the foundations of mathematics, a **universe** is a collection that contains all the entities one wishes to consider in a given situation.

In set theory, universes are often classes that contain (as elements) all sets for which one hopes to prove a particular theorem. These classes can serve as inner models for various axiomatic systems such as ZFC or Morse–Kelley set theory. Universes are of critical importance to formalizing concepts in category theory inside set-theoretical foundations. For instance, the canonical motivating example of a category is **Set**, the category of all sets, which cannot be formalized in a set theory without some notion of a universe.

In type theory, a universe is a type whose elements are types.