[koo m lou-dey, -duh, -dee; kuhm law-dee]
- with honor: used in diplomas to grant the lowest of three special honors for grades above the average.
Origin of cum laude
1890–95, Americanism; < Latin: with praise
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Word Origin and History for cum laude
1872, originally at Harvard, from Medieval Latin, literally "with praise," from Latin cum "with" + laude, ablative of laus (genitive laudis) "praise" (see laud). Probably from earlier use (in Latin) at Heidelberg and other German universities.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper