[ kuh-mens-muhnt ]
See synonyms for commencement on
  1. an act or instance of commencing; beginning: the commencement of hostilities.

  2. the ceremony of conferring degrees or granting diplomas at the end of the academic year.

  1. the day on which this ceremony takes place.

Origin of commencement

First recorded in 1225–75; Middle English, from Anglo-French, Old French; equivalent to commence + -ment

Other words from commencement

  • non·com·mence·ment, noun
  • re·com·mence·ment, noun

Words Nearby commencement Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use commencement in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for commencement


/ (kəˈmɛnsmənt) /

  1. the beginning; start

    • US and Canadian a ceremony for the presentation of awards at secondary schools

    • US a ceremony for the conferment of academic degrees

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