graduate

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

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

In October of 2017, the graduate students voted to unionize by more than a 2-to-1 margin. Chloe Watlington, The New Republic, "The Labor Movement’s Newest Warriors: Grad Students," 6 June 2019 One of the coaches was Trey Anderson, an offensive graduate assistant at ASU. Clevis Murray, azcentral, "ASU football recruiting: QBs Joey Yellen, Ethan Long ready to compete at next level," 22 June 2018 Georgina is a New York University graduate and the author of a series of young adult novels. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "What Michael Bloomberg's Daughters Think of His Decision Not to Run for President," 9 Mar. 2019 The most dramatic increases in college graduates and six-figure households took place in an area bordered by the Bishop Ford Freeway to the east, 103rd Street to the north, Cottage Grove Avenue to the west, and 111th Street to the south. Sandra Guy, Chicago Reader, "News / Architecture / Neighborhoods Pullman to get first new residential building in nearly 50 years," 10 July 2018 The teen, a recent Oakton High School graduate, and her parents filed a lawsuit in May accusing school system officials of failing to adequately investigate the alleged assault. Debbie Truong, Washington Post, "Fairfax system rejects former student’s assault claim, calls it ‘sexual encounter’," 4 July 2018 Cogswell, a graduate and then headmistress and principal of Lowthorpe School of Landscape Architecture, Gardening, and Horticulture in Groton, Massachusetts, was in high demand. Joan Hunt, Courant Community, "Dynamic Webb House Garden: More Than Just A Pretty Face," 3 July 2018 Amy was planning to apply for graduate school at the time, but O'Rourke tactfully dissuaded her. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Why Beto O'Rourke's Wife, Amy O'Rourke, Will Be Central to His Presidential Campaign," 15 Mar. 2019 Though technically an exercise in figure drawing, the night was a fundraising event for the New York Academy of Art—a graduate school and gallery founded in part by Andy Warhol in 1982, dedicated to intensive training in the fine arts. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "Send Nudes: The New York Academy of Art Hosts Its Annual Drawing Party," 15 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Both of them are graduate students at the University of Chicago. Chloe Watlington, The New Republic, "The Labor Movement’s Newest Warriors: Grad Students," 6 June 2019 One of these changes would have repealed tax-free tuition waivers for graduate students, researchers and family members of university faculty and staff. WSJ, "WSJ Tax Guide 2019: Other Education Benefits," 15 Feb. 2019 Jackson Bertoli is now in graduate school at Indiana and feeling much better. Rachel Bachman, WSJ, "College Sports’ Newest Need: Psychologists," 8 Nov. 2018 Barely a year out of graduate school and just 26, Dunn nonetheless was a senior engineer over the rocket’s first stage. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Inside the eight desperate weeks that saved SpaceX from ruin," 21 Sep. 2018 Mindful practices, first yoga then meditation, literally changed Lazar’s career path in graduate school. Cindy Dampier, chicagotribune.com, "Mindfulness is not just a buzzword, it's a multibillion dollar industry. Here's the truth about the hype," 2 July 2018 Corey had told him not to spend more time in graduate school than necessary. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "Inside a Chemist’s Quest to Hack Evolution and Cure Genetic Disease," 12 June 2018 The chancellor’s job listing, posted last year by search firm Isaacson, Miller, called for a strategist who could telegraph CUNY’s successes to the world, increase graduate numbers and position students for high-value careers. Melissa Korn, WSJ, "CUNY Names Queens College President Félix Matos Rodríguez as Chancellor," 13 Feb. 2019 The duo, former smokers who met as graduate students at Stanford University, set out to create an alternative to cigarettes. Jennifer Maloney, WSJ, "Juul’s Instant Millionaires: How $2 Billion From Altria Is Being Divvied Up," 21 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

As a result, every member of the first graduating class will be headed to college this year. Leila Atassi, cleveland.com, "MetroHealth CEO Dr. Akram Boutros calls citizens to join Open Table, support programs to reverse effects of trauma and structural racism on public health," 7 June 2019 Tuition is $17,000, but Flatiron School offers full refunds if graduating students don’t find a job within 180 days of searching. Roland Li, SFChronicle.com, "WeWork to open SF coding school — with refunds if students don’t get jobs," 7 June 2019 Increasingly, four-year universities produce too few graduating classes that are reflective of the country’s racial, social, and economic diversity. Stephane Kasriel, Fortune, "Why Upwork Scratched College Degree Requirements From Our Job Descriptions," 6 June 2019 This award honors a graduating senior who has overcome a significant disability, made an impact at school and will be continuing their education the following year in some way. James Kaspar, Pomerado News, "Rancho Bernardo Rotarians award $12K in scholarships," 6 June 2019 Eighth-grader Gwen Lynch is the only graduating student of Cuttyhunk Elementary, a one-room school located on an island outside of Massachusetts that has a population of about a dozen people, according to the Cape Cod Times. PEOPLE.com, "Jenny Slate to Give Commencement Speech at School with Only a Single Graduating Student," 5 June 2019 The school’s graduation program listed names for 155 graduating seniors, but enrollment data shows the 690-student school had 168 seniors enrolled this school year. nola.com, "Kennedy High School scrambled to verify graduates’ eligibility amid grade-fixing probe: report," 5 June 2019 Kim Briggs, a parent of a graduating senior and a sophomore at the high school, saw the quote before the school released a statement about it. Sawsan Morrar, sacbee, "Folsom student said ‘cracker’ in her senior quote – and sparked a debate about diversity," 4 June 2019 Commencement was held Sunday for the graduating seniors of Glenbrook South High School, serving as a next-chapter start for the class of 2019 and the superintendent who is retiring at the end of the school year. Alexandra Kukulka, chicagotribune.com, "Graduates encouraged to keep 'open mind' as they leave Glenbrook South," 4 June 2019

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

Verb, Noun, and Adjective

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

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Statistics for graduate

Last Updated

9 Jun 2019

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)

US : 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
US, of a school, college, or university : to award a degree or diploma to (a student)
US, informal : to earn a degree or diploma from (a school, college, or university)

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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More from Merriam-Webster on graduate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with graduate

Spanish Central: Translation of graduate

Nglish: Translation of graduate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of graduate for Arabic Speakers

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