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 Jackson took classes at Portland Community College and got his high school diploma in 2019. oregonlive, "Family grieves death of Calvin Jackson, man fatally shot in N. Portland: ‘It’s a void that can’t be filled’," 27 Apr. 2021 Now, Kentucky's largest district is proposing an expansion of Jefferson County High School, which currently offers any student 16 years of age and older the chance to earn a diploma through virtual courses. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "After a pandemic-disrupted year, JCPS may permanently expand its virtual school option," 14 Apr. 2021 Illinois high school students typically take the SAT test during the spring of their junior year, both for college admissions and because the state typically requires that students sit for the exam in order to earn a high school diploma. Hannah Leone, chicagotribune.com, "High school seniors in Chicago and across Illinois won’t have to take SAT to graduate this spring because of COVID-19 disruptions," 24 Mar. 2021 His mother eventually earned her high school diploma — at age 60. New York Times, "John Chaney’s Message Was Always Clear, in Support of Black Athletes," 30 Jan. 2021 Gill contends that Oregon requires its high schoolers to complete more credits to earn a diploma compared to other states. oregonlive, "Oregon graduation rate climbs to 83%, a new high, but schools may have lowered the bar for a diploma," 21 Jan. 2021 Winfree Academy Charter Schools utilize a high school curriculum designed to prepare its students to be college- and career-ready while earning their high school diploma. David Buice, Dallas News, "How charter schools in Dallas are operating during COVID-19," 16 Mar. 2021 Donna earned her high school diploma and worked at the Fort Benjamin Harrison finance center. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, The Indianapolis Star, "Born out of love: How the baby they gave up 50 years ago reunited high school sweethearts," 3 Mar. 2021 Statewide, the report card says 93.9% of Asian students, 92.7% of white students, 83.2% of Black students and 84.2% of Hispanic or Latino students earned their high school diploma this past year. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky schools not given star ratings this year due to COVID-19, but other data released," 14 Oct. 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

30 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Diploma.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/diploma. Accessed 7 May. 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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