grad·​u·​a·​tion | \ ˌgra-jə-ˈwā-shən \

Definition of graduation

1 : a mark on an instrument or vessel indicating degrees or quantity also : these marks
2a : the award or acceptance of an academic degree or diploma
3 : arrangement in degrees or ranks

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for graduation


hierarchy, ladder, ordering, ranking, scale

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of graduation in a Sentence

He joined the navy after graduation. We had a party to celebrate her graduation from high school. They took lots of pictures at their son's graduation.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

The overall number of foreign students in the U.S. still increased slightly, by 1.5 percent, fueled by growing numbers of students who stayed for temporary work after graduation. Collin Binkley, The Seattle Times, "US colleges attracting fewer new students from abroad," 13 Nov. 2018 But the choice is much harder for those not close to graduation. Annabelle Williams,, "Art Institute of Philadelphia closing leaves students and employees with hard decisions," 12 July 2018 Jack Keefer — the only boys basketball coach Lawrence North has known in 42 years — loses IndyStar Indiana All-Star Kevin Easley to graduation. Kyle Neddenriep, Indianapolis Star, "Talented core hopes to put Lawrence North basketball back on top," 11 July 2018 Burbank only lost one key player to graduation and has the luxury of having its best player back in senior Osanna Tirityan, a perennial All-Area and All-Pacific League player and former All-CIF honoree. Jeff Tully,, "LoVett, Providence defense hold Burbank at bay in summer girls' basketball," 11 July 2018 Besides Harrity, the Bulldogs lost two other starters and numerous role players to graduation. Bob Narang, Lake County News-Sun, "Ally's all-in: Ally Mahinay may not play basketball in college, but looks to lead Grant this season as a senior," 28 June 2018 His son and daughter attended county schools from kindergarten to high school graduation, according to his campaign website. Jess Nocera, Howard County Times, "Voters to narrow a wide field for Howard school board," 25 June 2018 The team also has lost key seniors Kristen Confroy and Ieshia Small to graduation. Jonas Shaffer,, "Maryland's Eleanna Christinaki to skip senior season, play pro basketball in Europe," 22 June 2018 The Wildcats will be losing seven players to graduation. Alvaro Montaño, Houston Chronicle, "Tomball Memorial’s Elizabeth Alfaro set to lead tennis program," 15 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'graduation.' 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 graduation

1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about graduation

Share graduation

Statistics for graduation

Last Updated

8 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for graduation

The first known use of graduation was in 1594

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for graduation



English Language Learners Definition of graduation

: the act of receiving a diploma or degree from a school, college, or university : the act of graduating
: a ceremony at which degrees or diplomas are given out


grad·​u·​a·​tion | \ ˌgra-jə-ˈwā-shən \

Kids Definition of graduation

1 : the act or process of finishing a course of study

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on graduation

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


excited commotion or publicity

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

What did you just call me?! A Quiz

  • rows-of-various-emoji
  • If a member of the audience describes your speech as bombastic, does that person mean it is:
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!