di·​plo·​ma | \ də-ˈplō-mə How to pronounce diploma (audio) \
plural diplomas

Definition of diploma

1 plural also diplomata\ də-​ˈplō-​mə-​tə How to pronounce diploma (audio) \ : 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 Katie accepted her diploma through the sunroof of the minivan. Washington Post, "Decoding Katie," 5 Nov. 2020 The spiraling price tag of attending college has spawned a cottage industry of critics arguing that the diploma isn't worth the time and cost. Chris Farrell, Star Tribune, "Looking for help navigating the college maze? Read this book!," 23 Jan. 2021 Unable to stand close to each other, a graduate and faculty member air hug as the student receives their diploma at the Howell Cheney Technical High School graduation ceremony. Sabrina Herrera, courant.com, "Then and now: How Connecticut looked different in 2020," 28 Dec. 2020 At the afterparty, Mr. Harvard is still wearing his bathrobe and flaunting his Grown-Ass Man diploma in front of the other guys. Kristen Baldwin, EW.com, "The Bachelorette recap: 'I'm ready to show her how grown my ass is as a man'," 18 Nov. 2020 Around him, labeled as though for an anthropological exhibit, were such objects as his divorce papers and his college diploma. New York Times, "The 25 Most Influential Works of American Protest Art Since World War II," 15 Oct. 2020 The diploma handed to me months earlier was a meaningless rubber stamp on an inconsistent, uninspired undergraduate performance. Lee Shapiro, Quartz at Work, "We are all in the class of Covid-19, graduation TBD," 12 June 2020 The average person who holds only a high school diploma, by contrast, earns $37,000 per year. Steve Chapman Chicago Tribune, Star Tribune, "What liberals are missing on student loan forgiveness," 7 Dec. 2020 In spring, Sanele will graduate with a high school diploma. Emily Goodykoontz, Anchorage Daily News, "This year, an Anchorage program to help struggling students graduate is confronting a much greater need," 20 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for diploma

Time Traveler

The first known use of diploma was in 1622

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Statistics for diploma

Last Updated

17 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Diploma.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diploma. Accessed 28 Feb. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce diploma (audio) \

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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