grad·​u·​a·​tion | \ ˌgra-jə-ˈwā-shən How to pronounce graduation (audio) \

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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web Bryan Anselm for The New York Times Carlos Polanco was living in a dormitory just two weeks ago, taking classes and thinking mostly about getting good grades and life after graduation. Anemona Hartocollis, New York Times, "With Coronavirus Disrupting College, Should Every Student Pass?," 28 Mar. 2020 Other students, like Stanford University senior Gregory Clark, are worried about what will happen after graduation. CBS News, "College seniors face uncertain futures amid coronavirus pandemic: "It's just really scary thinking about that"," 26 Mar. 2020 Just a week into the extensive shutdown, there’s still little information about what the closures will mean for high school students preparing to go or apply to college and other options after graduation. Jill Tucker,, "Bay Area high school students miss academic milestones and rites of passage because of coronavirus closures," 24 Mar. 2020 Parker was headed to Franklin College to play soccer after graduation. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, Indianapolis Star, "Shelbyville HS basketball standout Luke Asher survives fatal crash," 19 Mar. 2020 Kentucky high school students would be required to fill out the FAFSA in order to graduate under proposed legislation — regardless of their plans after graduation. Olivia Krauth, The Courier-Journal, "A Kentucky bill would require all high school students to file the FAFSA," 19 Mar. 2020 The two moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, after graduation. Brendan Fitzgerald, Longreads, "“I miss my body when it was ferocious” The Transfiguration of Paul Curreri," 14 Mar. 2020 In this cult classic, Harry and Sally meet driving home from college together after graduation. Kori Williams, Seventeen, "45 Best Romantic Movies to Watch on Your Next Girl's Night," 5 Mar. 2020 And North Rockland High School, also in Thiells, enrolls about 2,600 students and has an 86 percent graduation rate. New York Times, "Stony Point, N.Y.: An Escape From the ‘Chaos’ of the City," 18 Mar. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of graduation

1594, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for graduation

Time Traveler

The first known use of graduation was in 1594

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Statistics for graduation

Last Updated

4 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Graduation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Apr. 2020.

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How to pronounce graduation (audio)

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 How to pronounce graduation (audio) \

Kids Definition of graduation

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

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