graduate

verb
grad·​u·​ate | \ ˈgra-jə-ˌwāt How to pronounce graduate (audio) \
graduated; graduating

Definition of graduate

 (Entry 1 of 3)

intransitive verb

1 : to receive an academic degree or diploma graduated with honors
2 : to pass from one stage of experience, proficiency, or prestige to a usually higher one graduated to team leader
3 : to change gradually

transitive verb

1a : to grant an academic degree or diploma to
b : to be graduated from joined the navy after graduating high school
2a : to mark with degrees of measurement
b : to divide into grades or intervals
3 : to admit to a particular standing or grade

graduate

noun
grad·​u·​ate | \ ˈgra-jə-wət How to pronounce graduate (audio) , -ˌwāt How to pronounce graduate (audio) , ˈgraj-wət \

Definition of graduate (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : a holder of an academic degree or diploma a college graduate
2 : a graduated cup, cylinder, or flask

graduate

adjective
grad·​u·​ate | \ ˈgra-jə-wət How to pronounce graduate (audio) \

Definition of graduate (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : of, relating to, or engaged in studies beyond the first or bachelor's degree graduate school a graduate student
2 : holding an academic degree or diploma

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Other Words from graduate

Verb

graduator \ ˈgra-​jə-​ˌwā-​tər How to pronounce graduate (audio) \ noun

Usage of Graduate

Verb

In the 19th century the transitive sense (1a) was prescribed; the intransitive I graduated from college was condemned. The intransitive prevailed nonetheless, and today it is the sense likely to be prescribed and the newer transitive sense (1b) she graduated high school the one condemned. All three are standard. The intransitive is currently the most common, the new transitive the least common.

Examples of graduate in a Sentence

Verb He graduated from the university last June. They both graduated with honors. She graduated with a degree in history. He joined the navy after graduating from high school. a graduating class of 300 students He joined the navy after graduating high school. The word has graduated from slang to accepted use. My nephew has graduated from baby food to solid food. Adjective He is taking graduate classes at the university. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Kinlow was scheduled to graduate from the university on May 9, her aunt, Danielle Kinlow-Cephas, wrote on Facebook. Fox News, 5 May 2022 Kinlow was preparing to graduate from the University of Illinois next week before her death at the Belle Shore apartment building on W. Bryn Mawr Avenue, per the outlets. Abigail Adams, PEOPLE.com, 5 May 2022 Blakeney, who is also a member of the Junior Economics Club of New York City, is about to graduate with a high school diploma and an Associate’s Degree. Paolo Gaudiano, Forbes, 2 May 2022 Zelaya is scheduled to graduate from George Wythe in June. al, 27 Apr. 2022 Kelly Loy Gilbert's tale about a Bay Area teenager who is about to graduate from high school and wants to be an artist had Li sobbing at the end. Alamin Yohannes, EW.com, 10 Apr. 2022 Looking ahead, Jason Ebel said the most exciting thing for him is that his son Teegan, 22, is getting ready to graduate from college at Arizona State University and will be joining the family business. David Sharos, chicagotribune.com, 6 Apr. 2022 The changes for the next season come at a transition point for the show as Zoey and her classmates are about to graduate from college. Rick Porter, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 Mar. 2022 He was born and raised in Magnolia, going on to graduate from Magnolia High School in 1985. Thomas Saccente, Arkansas Online, 2 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Fifth-year senior midfielder Anthony DeMaio racked up four goals and two assists, and graduate student midfielder Jonathan Donville posted one goal and three assists. Edward Lee, Baltimore Sun, 8 May 2022 This monthly event is for young professionals and graduate students. Hartford Courant, 5 May 2022 Defying stereotypes of gritty picket lines, the strikers of 2021 included editorial staff at The New Yorker and graduate students at Columbia University. Samuel Goldman, The Week, 29 Apr. 2022 Loyola Marymount’s School of Television and Film offers B.A. programs in film, as well as MFA programs for graduate students. Nick Clement, Variety, 28 Apr. 2022 Damion Shelton and Jonathan Hurst, friends since their days as graduate students in robotics at Carnegie Mellon University, teamed up seven years ago to change that. Amy Feldman, Forbes, 22 Apr. 2022 The additional season was meant to even the playing field, but some rosters are more stacked with super seniors and graduate students than others, and the trickle-down effect may linger for years. New York Times, 2 Apr. 2022 The investments and efforts to enroll more graduate and adult students were in part, Lee said, to protect the undergraduate women's college that is at the core of the college's identity. Devi Shastri, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1 Apr. 2022 Lili recounts a year spent teaching in Montpellier at age twenty-two, before going on to do graduate work at Oxford. Claire Messud, Harper’s Magazine , 16 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Clifford Larson, who was then in graduate school for women’s history, started digging and learned the last biography on Tubman had been published in the 1940s. NBC News, 29 Apr. 2022 She was then accepted into graduate school of music education at Holy Names to pursue her master’s in music education. Sam Whiting, San Francisco Chronicle, 14 Apr. 2022 So if a child earns a full scholarship as an undergraduate, then the money from the child’s 529 plan can be saved for graduate school. Robert H. Scott Iii, The Conversation, 8 Apr. 2022 The pair met in graduate school, in their mid-twenties, before either of them was a cookbook author. Anna Russell, The New Yorker, 4 Apr. 2022 To seek the truth required one to endure dissonance, and the ability to sit with this discomfort was what isolated the philosopher in body and thought from other people, or so we were taught in graduate school. New York Times, 29 Mar. 2022 Broadland is in graduate school at SDSU on her crew scholarship. Bill Center, San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Mar. 2022 The news reminded me of my own experience in graduate school in the mid-1990s at Michigan State University. Damon Linker, The Week, 26 Jan. 2022 This was the first play Pipes wrote in graduate school, and the lukewarm reaction the first scene received from her teachers had an impact on the development of the show, in particular on the genesis of that surreal left turn. Bo Emerson, ajc, 25 Jan. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'graduate.' 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 graduate

Verb

15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for graduate

Verb, Noun, and Adjective

Middle English, from Medieval Latin graduatus, past participle of graduare, from Latin gradus step, degree

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Time Traveler for graduate

Time Traveler

The first known use of graduate was in the 15th century

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Dictionary Entries Near graduate

graduand

graduate

graduated

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Statistics for graduate

Last Updated

14 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Graduate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/graduate. Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for graduate

graduate

noun
grad·​u·​ate | \ ˈgra-jə-wət How to pronounce graduate (audio) \

Kids Definition of graduate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a person who has completed the required course of study in a college or school

graduate

verb
grad·​u·​ate | \ ˈgra-jə-ˌwāt How to pronounce graduate (audio) \
graduated; graduating

Kids Definition of graduate (Entry 2 of 2)

: to finish a course of study : become a graduate

graduate

noun
grad·​u·​ate | \ ˈgraj-(ə-)wət How to pronounce graduate (audio) , -ə-ˌwāt How to pronounce graduate (audio) \

Medical Definition of graduate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a graduated cup, cylinder, or flask for measuring

graduate

transitive verb
grad·​u·​ate | \ ˈgraj-ə-ˌwāt How to pronounce graduate (audio) \
graduated; graduating

Medical Definition of graduate (Entry 2 of 2)

: to mark with degrees of measurement

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