grad·​u·​at·​ed | \ ˈgra-jə-ˌwā-təd How to pronounce graduated (audio) \

Definition of graduated

1 : marked with divisions indicating degrees or units of measurement a graduated cylinder/tube graduated measuring cups
2a : divided into or arranged in grades, steps, or successive levels usually proportionally a graduated series of honors
b of a tax : increasing in rate with increase in taxable base : progressive a graduated income tax

Examples of graduated in a Sentence

a series of bowls in graduated sizes
Recent Examples on the Web Just four days before, the 18-year-old graduated high school. Jim Axelrod, CBS News, "Next generation of civil rights leaders on their hopes for the future," 3 June 2020 The group has instead asked its staff earning 40,000 pounds or more a year to accept a graduated pay-cut for the duration of the crisis, for which they will be allocated shares in the parent company. Tom Metcalf,, "Fair to Furlough? Massive U.K. Job-Saving Plan Prompts Pushback," 10 May 2020 The restrictions of a probationary graduated driver's license still apply for at least nine months. Bill Glauber, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "DOT sets up pilot program to deal with backlog for Wisconsin driver licenses during pandemic," 5 May 2020 If approved by voters in November, the amendment would allow for a graduated income tax structure in Illinois with higher rates for people who earn more money. Brett Rowland, Washington Examiner, "Ezike warns against ingesting household cleaners after spike in poison calls," 27 Apr. 2020 There has also been talk of a constitutional amendment to create a graduated income tax or an initiative or bond proposal to fix the roads, though neither appears to be definite., "A second term for Donald Trump? Michigan is at the center of the political universe," 9 Jan. 2020 More pragmatic than Wilson, Bagehot did favor a permanent graduated income tax and, in his 1873 book Lombard Street, the idea of a central bank as a lender of last resort. Patrick Iber, The New Republic, "The World The Economist Made," 17 Dec. 2019 Johnson and Walker-Peddakotla also called for voters to approve the fair tax question on the November 2020 ballot, which would amend the state constitution to change Illinois from a flat tax to a graduated income tax. Steve Schering,, "Kim Foxx, local officials lead community safety forum at Oak Park Library," 10 Dec. 2019 Unions have long backed the shift to a graduated income tax structure, under which higher incomes are taxed at higher rates. Dan Petrella,, "New state workers’ contract signals ‘return to normalcy’ for unions under Gov. J.B. Pritzker," 24 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'graduated.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of graduated

1679, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for graduated

see graduate entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about graduated

Time Traveler for graduated

Time Traveler

The first known use of graduated was in 1679

See more words from the same year

Statistics for graduated

Last Updated

19 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Graduated.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for graduated


How to pronounce graduated (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of graduated

: marked with lines for measuring
: gradually increasing
of a tax : increasing in rate as the thing being taxed (such as income) increases


grad·​u·​at·​ed | \ ˈgra-jə-ˌwā-təd \

Legal Definition of graduated

of a tax : increasing in rate with increase in taxable base : progressive

More from Merriam-Webster on graduated

Nglish: Translation of graduated for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of graduated for Arabic Speakers

Comments on graduated

What made you want to look up graduated? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

A More Exception(al) Quiz

  • hot dog  hot dog  hot dog  hot dog cat
  • Which of the following words is not a synonym for ‘a young person’?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!