Definition of matriculate
- She matriculated at the state university.
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the college matriculated 1000 students for the fall semester
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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. It is more closely related to Late Latin matricula, which means "public roll or register," and it has more to do with being enrolled than being mothered.
First Known Use: 1577See Words from the same year
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