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[graj-oo-ey-tid] /ˈgrædʒ uˌeɪ tɪd/
characterized by or arranged in degrees, especially successively, as according to height, depth, or difficulty:
a graduated series of lessons.
marked with divisions or units of measurement.
(of a bird's tail) having the longest feathers in the center, the others being successively shorter.
(of a tax) increasing along with the taxable base:
a graduated income tax.
Origin of graduated
First recorded in 1645-55; graduate + -ed2
Related forms
nongraduated, adjective
overgraduated, adjective
ungraduated, adjective


[noun, adjective graj-oo-it, -eyt; verb graj-oo-eyt] /noun, adjective ˈgrædʒ u ɪt, -ˌeɪt; verb ˈgrædʒ uˌeɪt/
a person who has received a degree or diploma on completing a course of study, as in a university, college, or school.
a student who holds the bachelor's or the first professional degree and is studying for an advanced degree.
a graduated cylinder, used for measuring.
of, relating to, or involved in academic study beyond the first or bachelor's degree:
graduate courses in business; a graduate student.
having an academic degree or diploma:
a graduate engineer.
verb (used without object), graduated, graduating.
to receive a degree or diploma on completing a course of study (often followed by from):
She graduated from college in 1985.
to pass by degrees; change gradually.
verb (used with object), graduated, graduating.
to confer a degree upon, or to grant a diploma to, at the close of a course of study, as in a university, college, or school:
Cornell graduated eighty students with honors.
Informal. to receive a degree or diploma from:
She graduated college in 1950.
to arrange in grades or gradations; establish gradation in.
to divide into or mark with degrees or other divisions, as the scale of a thermometer.
1375-1425; late Middle English < Medieval Latin graduātus (past participle of graduāre), equivalent to grad(us) grade, step + -u- thematic vowel + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
graduator, noun
nongraduate, noun
supergraduate, noun
ungraduating, adjective
Usage note
In the sense “to receive a degree or diploma” graduate followed by from is the most common construction today: Her daughter graduated from Yale in 1981. The passive form was graduated from, formerly insisted upon as the only correct pattern, has decreased in use and occurs infrequently today: My husband was graduated from West Point last year.
Even though it is condemned by some as nonstandard, the use of graduate as a transitive verb meaning “to receive a degree or diploma from” is increasing in frequency in both speech and writing: The twins graduated high school in 1974. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for graduated
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She had, in fact, graduated from a girls' school of considerable repute.

  • In 1845 he graduated as second wrangler, but won the Smith prize.

  • I say, you chaps, Duncan and I haven't met for years—not since he graduated.

    The Fortune Hunter Louis Joseph Vance
  • He returned the following year and was graduated with the class of 1842.

  • He graduated at Yale college, and was subsequently a tutor in that institution.

British Dictionary definitions for graduated


noun (ˈɡrædjʊɪt)
  1. a person who has been awarded a first degree from a university or college
  2. (as modifier): a graduate profession
(US & Canadian) a student who has completed a course of studies at a high school and received a diploma
(US) a container, such as a flask, marked to indicate its capacity
verb (ˈɡrædjʊˌeɪt)
to receive or cause to receive a degree or diploma
(transitive) (mainly US & Canadian) to confer a degree, diploma, etc upon
(transitive) to mark (a thermometer, flask, etc) with units of measurement; calibrate
(transitive) to arrange or sort into groups according to type, quality, etc
(intransitive) often foll by to. to change by degrees (from something to something else)
Derived Forms
graduator, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Medieval Latin graduārī to take a degree, from Latin gradus a step
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 graduated



early 15c., "to confer a university degree upon," from Medieval Latin graduatus (see graduate (n.)). Intransitive sense from 1807. Related: Graduated; graduating.



early 15c., "one who holds a degree" (with man; as a stand-alone noun from mid-15c.), from Medieval Latin graduatus, past participle of graduari "to take a degree," from Latin gradus "step, grade" (see grade). As an adjective, from late 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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graduated in Medicine

graduated grad·u·at·ed (grāj'ōō-ā'tĭd)
Marked with or divided into intervals, as of volume or temperature, for use in measurement.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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graduated in Science
Divided into or marked with intervals indicating measures, as of length, volume, or temperature.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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