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 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

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 Orleans Parish residents who graduated from a public or private parish high school are eligible. USA TODAY, "Condom conflict, ghost net, smart trash bins: News from around our 50 states," 18 Jan. 2020 Song, who graduated from the Naval Academy, reported for duty in December after his request for a waiver was not endorsed. Peter Abraham, BostonGlobe.com, "Recapping baseball’s week of scandal," 18 Jan. 2020 For instance, how was coach LeighAnn Wolfe going to replace eight seniors, including standout Allie Byrd who graduated as the statistical leader in most categories in the basketball program? Marcus Gutierrez, Houston Chronicle, "Girls basketball: K-Park off to strong start with inexperience team," 17 Jan. 2020 Hunter, who graduated from Upper Iowa University's Milwaukee Center in 2012 before moving south, today also works as a motivational speaker and has four children. Jr Radcliffe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "He's the only 49ers fan in a family of 21 children from Racine, and Paul Hunter isn't afraid to let anyone know it," 17 Jan. 2020 Hicks-Onu, who recently graduated from Oregon State, put his name in the NCAA transfer portal in October. oregonlive, "Former Oregon State defensive backs Omar Hicks-Onu, Trajon Cotton transfer to Montana," 17 Jan. 2020 But Aldama’s hold on the team is intensified by her sincere, perceptive interest in each cheerleader as a developing person—one who will soon graduate from Navarro’s two-year program and need to find success and stability elsewhere. Jia Tolentino, The New Yorker, "The Pathos of “Cheer” and the Wild Deceptions of Cheerleading," 16 Jan. 2020 Billionaire Mike Bloomberg, who graduated from Hopkins in 1964 and is a Democratic presidential candidate, gave the university $1.8 billion in 2018 to support financial aid. Washington Post, "Hopkins scraps ‘legacy’ preference for children of alumni who seek admission," 14 Jan. 2020 As the first class of students who will graduate under Indiana’s new graduation pathways were poised to enter high school, the rate of students earning a diploma under the old standards slipped, ever-so-slightly. Arika Herron, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana's high school graduation rate slips, stagnates for fifth straight year," 9 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Project Runway' is the undergrad program, 'Making the Cut' is the graduate program. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, "How Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn's 'Making the Cut' is different from 'Project Runway'," 14 Jan. 2020 The university, in particular, has grown its graduate programs for business, professional studies and international development and environment. Deirdre Fernandes, BostonGlobe.com, "Clark University turns to a graduate as its next president," 13 Jan. 2020 My friends, also in graduate programs at the campus, stood a few feet away, waiting to celebrate me. Sonia Alejandra Rodriguez, Longreads, "Witness Mami Roar," 28 Dec. 2019 US News and World Report reported its enrollment in 2018 at just shy of 6,000 students between undergraduate and graduate programs. Rob Frehse, CNN, "A man broke into a Yeshiva University dormitory and set three fires, New York City official says," 20 Dec. 2019 The MTI Preparatory Institute is a post-graduate prep football program whose mission is to assist student-athletes with college and career placement. Emmett Hall, sun-sentinel.com, "MTI Bison conclude inaugural season with national championship," 12 Dec. 2019 The number of women in her graduate program in the electrical engineering department at Stanford was hardly better. Erin Delmore, NBC News, "Ellen Ochoa, the first Latina to go to space: How to get more women into STEM," 12 Dec. 2019 That closure came amid state budget cuts, a rapidly shifting media landscape and turmoil in the journalism school that left one graduate program facing potential loss of its accreditation, the Daily Camera newspaper reported. Elizabeth Hernandez, The Denver Post, "University of Colorado to stop funding student-run CU Independent and launch a more faculty-led news outlet," 9 Dec. 2019 Data from UConn’s Center for Career Development also show that more students — about 90% — report being established in jobs, post-graduate programs or other pursuits, such as the military or volunteer service. courant.com, "Dec. 4, 2019: Six months in the real world," 4 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective So, Pearl turned to Langford, a former student-manager turned graduate assistant, and tasked him with fixing Wiley’s stroke from the free-throw line. Tom Green | Tgreen@al.com, al, "Inside Austin Wiley’s drastically improved FT shooting, quest to be Auburn’s best at the line," 17 Jan. 2020 Thurin was previously a graduate assistant at Akron and Colorado and spent three seasons as secondary coach and special teams coordinator at Columbia. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Boston College’s Jeff Hafley hires Ohio State football quality control coach Matt Thurin as special teams coordinator," 17 Jan. 2020 That’s good news for graduate students, who are often paid that way. Nerd Wallet, oregonlive, "8 moves to consider for IRAs, 401(k)s under new Secure Act," 15 Jan. 2020 When Marley, the young social activist behind #1000BlackGirlBooks, was born, Janice and her husband, Scott, were making $14,000 a year between the two of them, both graduate students at Temple University. Washington Post, "Exceptional girls," 14 Jan. 2020 Among the victims were 63 Canadian nationals and 82 Iranians, many of whom were graduate students in the West. NBC News, "10-year-old girl, her mom, and newlyweds among 176 killed in plane crash in Iran," 10 Jan. 2020 Pourzarabi and Gorji were graduate students studying computer science, the school said. Christina Zdanowicz, CNN, "Newlyweds died together in the plane crash in Iran a week after their wedding," 9 Jan. 2020 Site visits target graduate students in science, engineering, and technology who are temporarily employed or are doing optional training in their areas of study. Deirdre Fernandes, BostonGlobe.com, "Expect ICE to visit, MIT tells faculty and staff, urging cooperation with visa checks," 9 Jan. 2020 Instead the administration curtailed five-year visas for foreign graduate students in certain fields of science and technology such as aviation and robotics; these students now get renewable one-year visas. The Economist, "Chinese students The new red scare on American campuses," 2 Jan. 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

27 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Graduate.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/graduate?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=g&file=gradua05. Accessed 29 January 2020.

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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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