graduate

noun
grad·u·ate | \ˈgra-jə-wət, -ˌwāt, ˈgraj-wət\

Definition of graduate 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a holder of an academic degree or diploma a college graduate

2 : a graduated cup, cylinder, or flask

graduate

adjective

Definition of graduate (Entry 2 of 3)

1 : holding an academic degree or diploma

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

graduate

verb
grad·u·ate | \ˈgra-jə-ˌwāt \
graduated; graduating

Definition of graduate (Entry 3 of 3)

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

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

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Other Words from graduate

Verb

graduator \ˈgra-jə-ˌwā-tər \ noun

Usage of Graduate: Usage Guide

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

Adjective

He is taking graduate classes at the university.

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Wilfred Lawson was a Washington native and Dunbar High graduate who went on to serve in World War I and study agriculture in college. John Kelly, Washington Post, "Remembering a time when Montgomery County was dairy — very dairy, indeed," 10 July 2018 Corey plans to attend graduate school after graduating from Eastern. Courant Community, "Community News For The Putnam-Killingly Edition," 10 July 2018 And Goldman Sachs says the tight labor market tends to boost hiring in June as companies aggressively target students and graduates. Paul Davidson, USA TODAY, "The economy added robust 213,000 jobs in June," 6 July 2018 Coral Springs native and American Heritage-Plantation graduate Shaun Anderson will also play in the Futures Game, but for Team USA. Matthew Defranks, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Marlins prospect Jorge Guzman, acquired in Giancarlo Stanton trade, to play in Futures Game," 6 July 2018 Nichole Thompson-Adams, who is black, was able to secure a scholarship for her two children to attend the Little Red School House and graduate from the high school in recent years. NBC News, "Elite NYC private school ends separating students by race," 5 July 2018 This summer, a total of 62 interns made up of Elk Grove and Placer County high school students, as well as recent high school graduates, will be working through the Foundation's program. Adesuwa Agbonile, sacbee, "'I did it by myself': Despite the heat, interns enjoy learning the construction trade," 29 June 2018 The public polytechnic university, east of Los Angeles, has more than 25,000 undergraduate and graduate students. CBS News, "Police: Cal State Poly Pomona officer killed in stabbing, suspect fatally shot," 29 June 2018 Even seeing the show’s subjects graduate from microwave-cooking to stovetop-cooking is a major success; Porowski should be proud. Jinnie Lee, Vogue, "Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski, and the Joy of Barely Cooking," 27 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

But even in the best cases—college is, historically and overall, a profitable investment—student debt is rising faster than graduate wages. Derek Thompson, The Atlantic, "Win a Game Show, Pay Off Your Student Debt," 12 July 2018 The ruling came amid an NCAA investigation into claims that escort Katina Powell made involving former Louisville player, graduate assistant coach and director of basketball operations Andre McGee. Scooby Axson, SI.com, "Former Louisville Players Expected To Sue NCAA Over Vacated Wins," 10 July 2018 Winners conduct international graduate study, research, university teaching and primary and secondary school teaching worldwide. Lisa Maria Garza, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Celebration High School alumna to teach Malaysian kids English on Fulbright scholarship," 3 July 2018 Morgan Park graduate Christian Bullock is hitting .306 with five doubles and 14 runs for Michigan. Pat Disabato, Daily Southtown, "Baseball notes: Arkansas recruit Jason Hodges puts on hit parade at top of the order for Marist," 5 Apr. 2018 After graduating, Marvin applied to Radcliffe for graduate study in geology, and attended with a full scholarship in 1943. Leila Mcneill, Smithsonian, "The Rockstar Geologist Who Mapped the Minerals of the Cosmos," 30 Mar. 2018 More: Akoy Agau returning to Louisville basketball as graduate transfer See also: Who will start for Louisville basketball? Jeff Greer, The Courier-Journal, "Schedule: Former Louisville basketball players in NBA summer leagues," 29 June 2018 That haul began Saturday when Alabama offensive line graduate transfer announced his plans to enroll at Oregon. Andrew Nemec, OregonLive.com, "Recruiting roundup: Oregon Ducks land elite California prospects, Alabama OL graduate transfer," 21 May 2018 Bulovas will face more competition in the summer, when graduate transfer Austin Johnson is due to arrive on campus. Michael Casagrande, AL.com, "Live updates from Nick Saban after A-Day Game," 21 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Bidwill, who attended Georgetown Prep outside Washington with Kavanaugh and graduated in 1983, organized a group of more than 150 classmates to send a letter of support for Kavanaugh to Senate leaders. Samuel Chamberlain, Fox News, "Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill talks up Brett Kavanaugh, rips kneelers," 10 July 2018 His daughter and nephew were part of the high school’s 2018 graduating class and his son, a sixth-grader, plays in the Falls junior program. Mark Stewart, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Menomonee Falls provides the perfect opportunity for Aaron Womack's return as a head coach," 6 July 2018 Mercer grew up in Bargersville and graduated from Franklin County High School. Zach Osterman, Indianapolis Star, "IU's new coach just might be 'the Brad Stevens of collegiate baseball'," 2 July 2018 Perille, a Boston resident, could also bring a parent’s perspective to the job; her children attended and graduated from the Boston public schools. James Vaznis, BostonGlobe.com, "Nonprofit chief is poised to be interim BPS superintendent," 28 June 2018 Farias, 36, grew up in the Pocket and graduated from Jesuit High School before attending UC Riverside and earning an MBA from Ithaca College in New York. Benjy Egel, sacbee, "Pub meets pug? Sacramento's new dog hangout will serve booze, coffee and bar food," 22 June 2018 Hennessy-Fiske grew up in Upstate New York before attending Harvard College, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in social studies in 1999. Molly Hennessy-fiske, latimes.com, "Trump ended separating families. But what's next?," 21 June 2018 Larry attended Hopkins Grammar School and graduated from Stetson University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. OrlandoSentinel.com, "Deaths in Central Florida: 6/19," 19 June 2018 The internal investigation concluded that more than one-third of the 2017 graduating class should not have received diplomas due to truancy or improper steps taken by teachers or administrators to cover the absences. Washington Post, "DC’s public schools go from success story to cautionary tale," 18 June 2018

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

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

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

History and Etymology for graduate

Noun

see graduate entry 3

Adjective

see graduate entry 3

Verb

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

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Learn More about graduate

Statistics for graduate

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for graduate

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

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More Definitions for graduate

graduate

noun

English Language Learners Definition of graduate

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: a person who has earned a degree or diploma from a school, college, or university

graduate

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of graduate (Entry 2 of 3)

: of or relating to a course of studies taken at a college or university after earning a bachelor's degree or other first degree

graduate

verb

English Language Learners Definition of graduate (Entry 3 of 3)

: to earn a degree or diploma from a school, college, or university

of a school, college, or university : to award a degree or diploma to (a student)

: to earn a degree or diploma from (a school, college, or university)

graduate

noun
grad·u·ate | \ˈgra-jə-wət \

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 \
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, -ə-ˌwāt \

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 \
graduated; graduating

Medical Definition of graduate (Entry 2 of 2)

: to mark with degrees of measurement

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Comments on graduate

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