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 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 With Damien Harris, whom the Patriots should have kept, matriculating on a cheap deal to the Bills, second-year backs Kevin Harris and Pierre Strong Jr. have a chance to take on a bigger role. Globe Staff,, 11 Aug. 2023 The new study showed that’s part of it: One-third of the difference in attendance rates was because middle-class students were somewhat less likely to apply or matriculate. Aatish Bhatia, New York Times, 24 July 2023 William, who grew up in Brooklyn, New York, had Broadway experience from a few years and had matriculated to Northwestern on the GI Bill after serving in the Army during World War II. Lanford Beard, Peoplemag, 30 June 2023 Each year, up to 200 future leaders from around the globe matriculate as Schwarzman Scholars at Tsinghua University in Beijing to pursue a one-year Master's Degree in Global Affairs. Foreign Affairs, 22 Aug. 2022 While Keegan Murray matriculated to the N.B.A. last June, his twin brother, Kris, decided to stay at Iowa for another season. David Gardner, New York Times, 19 June 2023 More than 200 seniors from Westwood High School clambered onto a district school bus Friday morning to revisit their elementary schools before matriculating in the first of what school officials hope will be an annual tradition encouraging graduates to reflect on their high school journeys. Sonel Cutler,, 2 June 2023 Currently, around 60 percent of students who graduate from New York City’s public high schools matriculate at a CUNY campus. Jasmine Liu, The New Republic, 25 May 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 22 Sep. 2023.

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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