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90s Slang You Should Know


[dih-ploh-muh] /dɪˈploʊ mə/
noun, plural diplomas Latin, diplomata
[dih-ploh-muh-tuh] /dɪˈploʊ mə tə/ (Show IPA)
a document given by an educational institution conferring a degree on a person or certifying that the person has satisfactorily completed a course of study.
a document conferring some honor, privilege, or power.
a public or official document, especially one of historical interest:
a diploma from Carolingian times.
verb (used with object), diplomaed, diplomaing.
to grant or award a diploma to.
Origin of diploma
1635-45; < Latin diplōma a letter of recommendation, an official document < Greek díplōma a letter folded double, equivalent to diplō-, variant stem of diploûn to double (derivative of diplóos; see diplo-) + -ma suffix of result
Related forms
prediploma, noun
undiplomaed, adjective
Can be confused
certificate, degree, diploma, license. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for diploma
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Her diploma came just before she passed to her eternal home, and her memory will ever be revered in our circle.

    The Chautauquan, Vol. III, March 1883 The Chautauquan Literary and Scientific Circle
  • Through Mr. Washington's intercession for him Tate got his diploma.

    Booker T. Washington Emmett J. Scott and Lyman Beecher Stowe
  • The latter replies that he does not want treasures or honours, but a diploma drawn up in legal form.

    The Russian Opera Rosa Newmarch
  • To be received in the Countess Bezukhova's salon was regarded as a diploma of intellect.

    War and Peace Leo Tolstoy
  • I did not know it then, but that word p. 120from him would have been as good as a diploma for me in Paris.

    Memoirs Charles Godfrey Leland
British Dictionary definitions for diploma


a document conferring a qualification, recording success in examinations or successful completion of a course of study
an official document that confers an honour or privilege
Word Origin
C17: from Latin: official letter or document, literally: letter folded double, from Greek; see diplo-
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for diploma

1640s, "state paper, official document," from Latin diploma, from Greek diploma "license, chart," originally "paper folded double," from diploun "to double, fold over," from diploos "double" (see diploid) + -oma. Specific academic sense is 1680s in English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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