di·​plo·​ma | \də-ˈplō-mə \
plural diplomas

Definition of diploma 

1 plural also diplomata\-​mə-​tə \ : an official or state document : charter

2 : a writing usually under seal conferring some honor or privilege

3 : a document bearing record of graduation from or of a degree conferred by an educational institution

Examples of diploma in a Sentence

He earned his high school diploma by attending classes at night.

Recent Examples on the Web

For many jobs, a high school diploma is an essential credential. Howard Blume, latimes.com, "L.A. school district says more are graduating, but rate may not show it," 20 June 2018 In the sweltering twilight on their school's football field, 328 seniors at a Southeast Texas high school received their diplomas Friday with memories of a deadly mass shooting fresh in their minds. CBS News, "Santa Fe High School students graduate 2 weeks after deadly mass shooting," 3 June 2018 In May, the unemployment rate for workers 25 years and older with less than a high-school diploma was 5.4%, down from 6.2% a year earlier. Sarah Chaney, WSJ, "Less-Educated Workers See Sharpest Drop in Unemployment," 1 June 2018 On May 12, Michael and classmates received their diplomas during St. Paul's graduation. Bob Warren, NOLA.com, "Will to Walk: LSU is 'Mighty Michael' Doherty's next stop," 30 May 2018 Green earned his high school equivalency diploma and is working toward an associate degree in business management. cleveland.com, "High school dropouts find their own paths to college (NerdWallet)," 3 Feb. 2018 Weeks before Florida's primary election, Howard posted a photo of herself on Facebook with what looked like a Miami University diploma in addition to college transcripts. Jennifer Earl, Fox News, "Politicians caught padding their resumes, from fake diplomas to biographical discrepancies," 21 Sep. 2018 Even students who go on to adult school and earn a diploma won’t be counted as graduates in the new rate. Howard Blume, latimes.com, "L.A. school district says more are graduating, but rate may not show it," 20 June 2018 The percentage of students passing the algebra 1 end-of-course test — required to earn a diploma — hit 61 percent, up from 56 percent three years ago. Sun-Sentinel.com, "Florida releases 2018 test results for reading, math, science and social studies," 15 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'diploma.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of diploma

1622, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for diploma

Latin, passport, diploma, from Greek diplōma folded paper, passport, from diploun to double, from diploos

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Statistics for diploma

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for diploma

The first known use of diploma was in 1622

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More Definitions for diploma



English Language Learners Definition of diploma

: a document which shows that a person has finished a course of study or has graduated from a school


di·​plo·​ma | \də-ˈplō-mə \

Kids Definition of diploma

: a certificate that shows a person has finished a course of study or graduated from a school

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More from Merriam-Webster on diploma

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with diploma

Spanish Central: Translation of diploma

Nglish: Translation of diploma for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of diploma for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about diploma

Comments on diploma

What made you want to look up diploma? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


living or existing for a long time

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