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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Research suggests that students going to these kinds of colleges are more likely to graduate and make more money later in life, the study said. Della Hasselle | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "More New Orleans students going to college than before Katrina, study finds," 24 Dec. 2020 Chardon will graduate a slew of starters, but brings back Sulka and linebacker Christian Hall (60 tackles, seven sacks) with 2023 cornerback Trey Liebardt, who blocked a field goal in that state final. Matt Goul, cleveland, "National Signing Day: Meet the area’s top prospects in the Class of 2022," 16 Dec. 2020 James chose that year deliberately: His oldest son, LeBron James Jr., will graduate from high school in 2023. Greg Beacham, Star Tribune, "LeBron considers load management, maps future with Lakers," 7 Dec. 2020 Some research suggests students who enter kindergarten without having learned how to share, express their emotions and listen to instructions, for example, are less likely to graduate high school. Alia Wong, USA TODAY, "COVID means more kids won't be ready for kindergarten. America's preschoolers are falling behind.," 4 Dec. 2020 Others, like Coleman and Matthew Coons, will graduate. Matthew Vantryon, The Indianapolis Star, "'Football was our sanctuary': Not even COVID could stop Bishop Chatard from repeating as champs," 29 Nov. 2020 Padilla, 47, grew up in Pacoima, a working-class neighborhood of Los Angeles in the San Fernando Valley, and went on to graduate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in mechanical engineering. Alexei Koseff, SFChronicle.com, "Who is Alex Padilla? California’s new senator has broken ground in state politics for two decades," 22 Dec. 2020 One of twelve children, Warnock was raised in public housing in Savannah, and went on to graduate from Morehouse College and earn a doctorate from Union Theological Seminary, in New York. Jelani Cobb, The New Yorker, "The High Stakes of Georgia’s Loeffler-Warnock Senate Race," 13 Dec. 2020 Kaufman was a standout on her high school swim team and went on to graduate from Clarion University in Pennsylvania, WKRN reported. Fox News, "Nashville ICU nurse and 'health care hero' shot and killed on way to work," 6 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun No team in the newest study graduated less than half of its white football players among those eligible to graduate, Lapchick said. Pete Iacobelli, orlandosentinel.com, "Study: Graduation gap widens between white, Black college athletes," 24 Dec. 2020 Saulon is a graduate student at the University of San Diego. Marjon L. Saulon, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Commentary: Despite the divisiveness of 2020, I have become more hopeful and optimistic for 2021," 24 Dec. 2020 The story of our graduate student's mom illustrates how active smell checks can catch Covid-19 cases in people with no other symptoms. John E. Hayes And Cara Exten, CNN, "At-home DIY smell tests could catch Covid-19 cases," 24 Dec. 2020 To figure out what had happened here, Pacheco-Forés, then a graduate student at ASU, teamed up with Morehart. Bridget Alex, Science | AAAS, "Shrine of decapitated heads suggests violence against foreigners in ancient Mexico," 17 Dec. 2020 The novel spans a single weekend in the life of Wallace, a Black and gay graduate student in a Midwestern biochemistry lab. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, "My Favorite Fiction of 2020," 17 Dec. 2020 Amber Payne, a 21-year-old graduate student in hospitality, is subbing this fall for $68 a day in suburban Atlanta. Valerie Bauerlein And Yoree Koh, WSJ, "Teacher Shortage Compounds Covid Crisis in Schools," 15 Dec. 2020 When Becky Cooper was a junior at Harvard, her friend’s boyfriend told her a story about the murder of a graduate student in the university’s archaeology department. Washington Post, "Harvard students told a lurid tale of murder. Was it true?," 11 Dec. 2020 On defense, the Rams bring back nearly their entire secondary as well as graduate student Scott Patchen. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah State football needs jump start as it heads into finale at Colorado State," 11 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective And Laura Bagwell-Katalinich is a graduate transfer from Cornell. Kent Youngblood, Star Tribune, "U's Kayla Mershon ready for mixed emotions facing former team," 18 Jan. 2021 Quarterback Jake Bentley, a graduate transfer from Utah, will also enroll at South Alabama next week and be available for spring practice. Creg Stephenson | Cstephenson@al.com, al, "Which South Alabama football players plan to use extra year of eligibility in 2021?," 16 Jan. 2021 Sermon, a graduate transfer from Oklahoma, broke out with 331 rushing yards in the Big Ten championship and another 193 yards in the semifinal win over Clemson. BostonGlobe.com, "Perfect ending: Alabama blasts Ohio State for national title," 11 Jan. 2021 The Ducks stunned almost everybody in the mostly empty Coliseum by replacing Shough occasionally with Brown, a senior graduate transfer from Boston College who hadn’t recorded any statistics for Oregon this season. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Oregon holds off USC to win second straight Pac-12 football title," 18 Dec. 2020 The graduate transfer led drives that lasted just four plays and a three-and-out. oregonlive, "Oregon’s QB carousel spins out of control in Fiesta Bowl loss to Iowa State, creates uncertainty for Ducks entering 2021," 2 Jan. 2021 Ramsey, a graduate transfer, totaled 291 yards passing and 50 yards rushing for Northwestern (7-2), which won its fourth straight bowl game. John Denton, ajc, "Ramsey leads No. 14 Northwestern past Auburn in Citrus Bowl," 1 Jan. 2021 Starkel started his career at Texas A&M, transferred to Arkansas and ended up at San Jose State as a graduate transfer. Mark Heim | Mheim@al.com, al, "San Jose State-Ball State live stream (12/31): How to watch Arizona Bowl online, TV, time," 31 Dec. 2020 The graduate transfer nickelback known for encouraging teammates and coaches alike will capitalize on NCAA rules granting all players an additional season of eligibility, allowing the Bruins to keep one of their most disruptive defensive players. Ben Bolch, Los Angeles Times, "UCLA gets another key defender back with Qwuantrezz Knight’s return," 29 Dec. 2020

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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Statistics for graduate

Last Updated

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Graduate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/graduate. Accessed 25 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for graduate

graduate

verb
How to pronounce graduate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of graduate

 (Entry 1 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
How to pronounce graduate (audio) How to pronounce graduate (audio)

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

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

graduate

adjective
How to pronounce graduate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of graduate (Entry 3 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

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
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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Comments on graduate

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