ma·​tric·​u·​late mə-ˈtri-kyə-ˌlāt How to pronounce matriculate (audio)
matriculated; matriculating

transitive verb

: to enroll as a member of a body and especially of a college or university

intransitive verb

: to be enrolled at a college or university
She matriculated at the state university.
matriculant noun

Did you know?

Anybody who has had basic Latin knows that alma mater, a fancy term for the school you attended, comes from a phrase that means "fostering mother." If mater is mother, then matriculate probably has something to do with a school nurturing you just like good old mom, right? Not exactly. If you go back far enough, matriculate is distantly related to the Latin mater, but its maternal associations were lost long ago—even in terms of Latin history. It is more closely related to Late Latin matricula, which means "public roll or register." Matricula has more to do with being enrolled than being mothered, but it is the diminutive form of the Latin matrix, which in Late Latin was used in the sense of "list" or "register" and earlier referred to female animals kept for the purposes of breeding.

Examples of matriculate in a Sentence

the college matriculated 1000 students for the fall semester
Recent Examples on the Web The Emmy-winning ABC sitcom mockumentary has recently matriculated for a third season and already been renewed for a fourth. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, 26 Feb. 2024 Jacob knows no one, having matriculated at the rez school, and this is Edward’s seventh time going there. Vulture, 22 Dec. 2023 Harvard professor discusses admission at elite colleges 04:30 Google application A total of four schools offered admission to Zhong, including the University of Texas at Austin. Not one to wallow in disappointment, Zhong decided to matriculate at UT Austin. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, 20 Oct. 2023 The eldest Ferrell child, Magnus, is matriculating at USC like his father before him. Vulture, 9 Oct. 2023 But players such as Casas, Bello, and Crawford who entered the organization before Bloom’s arrival as well as those like Mayer and Anthony who arrived under him became better prospects while matriculating through the system. Alex Speier,, 15 Sep. 2023 Public schools score better Public institutions notched some of the biggest gains on U.S. News' ranking, which many students and families use to help guide their choice of where to matriculate. Elizabeth Napolitano, CBS News, 18 Sep. 2023 Ninety graduating seniors marked the final class to matriculate at the co-ed school, which boasted a powerhouse boys’ ice hockey team that produced several NHL players. Globe Staff,, 29 Aug. 2023 High School Sports Turnover on high school sports teams is inevitable every year as student-athletes get hurt, transfer to different schools or matriculate to postsecondary institutions. Josh Reed, Anchorage Daily News, 12 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'matriculate.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Medieval Latin matriculatus, past participle of matriculare, from Late Latin matricula public roll, diminutive of matric-, matrix list, from Latin, breeding female

First Known Use

1577, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of matriculate was in 1577


Dictionary Entries Near matriculate

Cite this Entry

“Matriculate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


ma·​tric·​u·​late mə-ˈtrik-yə-ˌlāt How to pronounce matriculate (audio)
matriculated; matriculating
: to enroll especially in a college or university
matriculation noun

More from Merriam-Webster on matriculate

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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