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[verb muh-trik-yuh-leyt; noun muh-trik-yuh-lit] /verb məˈtrɪk yəˌleɪt; noun məˈtrɪk yə lɪt/
verb (used with object), matriculated, matriculating.
to enroll in a college or university as a candidate for a degree.
to register (a coat of arms), used especially in Scottish heraldry.
verb (used without object), matriculated, matriculating.
to be matriculated.
a person who has been matriculated.
Origin of matriculate
1480-90 for earlier sense; < Medieval Latin mātrīculātus (person) listed (for some specific duty), equivalent to mātrīcul(a) list (see matriculant) + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
matriculation, noun
matriculator, noun
rematriculate, verb, rematriculated, rematriculating.
unmatriculated, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for matriculate
Historical Examples
  • Subsequently, I learnt that this was the third year he had vainly attempted to matriculate.

    Youth Leo Tolstoy
  • He has to matriculate this year, it's frightfully difficult.

    A Young Girl's Diary An Anonymous Young Girl
  • You have made up your mind immediately you matriculate at her Universities.

    The London Pulpit J. Ewing Ritchie
  • I had presently to arrange a holiday and go to London to matriculate, and so it was I came upon my aunt and uncle again.

    Tono Bungay H. G. Wells
  • He leaves home provided with his ordinary apparel, which he is compelled to abandon, on becoming a matriculate.

  • But a large number of the young men who are sent up to matriculate at Oxford are not up to an academic standard.

    My Autobiography F. Max Mller
  • Men must often be taught in the stern school of Experience, before they can matriculate in the reasonable college of Wisdom.

  • His blue eyes sparkling like opals in their ardor, looked down upon her with a tenderness too ineffable to matriculate.

    The Shriek Charles Somerville
  • We may matriculate, And graduate—if we can, but he excludes Us from the beaten path he takes himself.

  • Some one of all these feats must needs have been performed, ere the “greenhorn” can matriculate and take rank as a “mountain man.”

    The War Trail Mayne Reid
British Dictionary definitions for matriculate


verb (məˈtrɪkjʊˌleɪt)
to enrol or be enrolled in an institution, esp a college or university
(intransitive) to attain the academic standard required for a course at such an institution
noun (məˈtrɪkjʊlɪt)
Also called matriculant. a person who has matriculated
Derived Forms
matriculator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Medieval Latin mātrīculāre to register, from mātrīcula, diminutive of matrix list, matrix
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 matriculate

1570s, "to admit a student to a college by enrolling his name on the register," from Late Latin matriculatus, past participle of matriculare "to register," from Latin matricula "public register," diminutive of matrix (genitive matricis) "list, roll," also "sources, womb" (see matrix).

The connection of senses in the Latin word seems to be via confusion of Greek metra "womb" (from meter "mother;" see mother (n.1)) and an identical but different Greek word metra meaning "register, lot" (see meter (n.2)). Evidently Latin matrix was used to translate both, though it originally shared meaning with only one. Related: Matriculated; matriculating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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