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

Cotton, Vineyard and Hernandez are the first graduates in the alternative school’s history to go directly from the school to a four-year university. Jennifer Moody, The Seattle Times, "Fund helps college students pay for non-tuition essentials," 27 Oct. 2018 The law clerks for federal judges are the best and brightest graduates of American law schools. Alvin Chang, Vox, "Every time Ford and Kavanaugh answered the question — and didn't answer the question," 28 Sep. 2018 The law clerks for federal judges are the best and brightest graduates of American law school. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Read the Full Transcript of Brett Kavanaugh's Opening Statement at Today's Hearing," 27 Sep. 2018 Pippa Middleton, Kate's sister, didn't attend the Durham University graduate's wedding because she's expected to give birth to her first child in the next couple weeks. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Who Is Sophie Carter? Kate Middleton's Close Friend Is Also Godmother to Princess Charlotte," 24 Sep. 2018 The Harvard graduate left management consulting to become a pastry chef, working at some of the best restaurants in the Northeast before opening Flour (now in seven spots around the city). Elizabeth Wellington, Condé Nast Traveler, "16 Best Things to Do in Boston," 2 Aug. 2018 The Oakland High graduate was with her sister, Lahtifa Wilson, who was also stabbed and rushed to a local hospital with critical injuries. Jewel Wicker, Teen Vogue, "6 Powerful Nia Wilson Tribute Posts From Artists," 25 July 2018 After all, as a Purdue freshman, the Evanston graduate averaged 2.9 points, 2.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 12.6 minutes per game. Michael Osipoff, Post-Tribune, "Evanston grad Nojel Eastern 'living in the moment' at Purdue after NBA draft process," 14 July 2018 The 1995 graduate of Manchester High School opened Pastrami On Wry on East Middle Turnpike in 2005, followed by Corey's Catsup & Mustard on Main Street and CW's Chops 'N' Catch on Hartford Road about seven years ago. Jesse Leavenworth, Courant Community, "Manchester Sandwich Shop Pastrami On Wry Closes, Owner Looks To Sell Corey's Catsup & Mustard," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 But more than with most graduate degrees, getting an M.B.A. is about forging bonds with class peers and influential alumni that could turn into an entrée into the upper echelons of the business world. Amber Burton, WSJ, "Does Your Online M.B.A. Program Feel Too Remote? There’s a Bot For That," 5 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The All of My Heart stars and Hallmark channel regulars have officially graduated to the Hallmark Movies & Mystery network for their latest project—a brand-spankin'-new suspense series. Blair Donovan, Country Living, "Hallmark Just Announced a New Mystery Movie Series Starring Lacey Chabert," 10 Mar. 2019 Jalen, a 6-10 forward, led the Eagles to back-to-back state titles before graduating in 2016. Jayda Evans, The Seattle Times, "‘He’s the future of basketball’: Federal Way’s Jaden McDaniels has become one of the best in nation," 20 Feb. 2019 An amateur golfer who grew up in North Kansas City before graduating from the University of Missouri and moving to St. Louis, Port has already won seven USGA championships. Shaun Goodwin, kansascity, "Missouri amateur senior golfer to make history at U.S. Senior Women's Open," 10 July 2018 The bride, 27, and the groom, 28, met at Boston College, from which each graduated. New York Times, "Samantha Green, Andrew Tieniber," 8 July 2018 That comment came in response to a rare endeavor by a higher-education institution: a survey emailed to 10,555 students in 2014 by the University of Washington to learn why some left before graduating. Jon Marcus, star-telegram, "More high school grads than ever are going to college, but 1 in 5 will quit," 7 July 2018 While the offense went pretty much unscathed, the same could not be said for the defense, which graduated Tucker (98 ground balls, 49 caused turnovers, 1 G, 2 A) and Nowesnick (53 GB, 33 CT, 1 G, 1 A). Edward Lee, baltimoresun.com, "Review & preview: Salisbury men’s lacrosse," 22 June 2018 Presbytera Frances grew up within the loving and nurturing embrace of the Greek Orthodox Community and excelled spiritually before graduating from the Fener Yakinion Greek Lyceum for Girls. Hartford Courant, courant.com, "Francesca Demetriades," 21 June 2018 Social pressure and the economic promise of a four-year university degree remain strong, especially among graduating high school students. Chuck Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "The State of American Trade Schools," 13 Mar. 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

31 Mar 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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