Nearby words

  1. gradiometer,
  2. gradual,
  3. gradualism,
  4. gradually,
  5. graduand,
  6. graduate nurse,
  7. graduate school,
  8. graduated,
  9. graduated cylinder,
  10. graduated tenotomy

Origin of graduate

1375–1425; late Middle English < Medieval Latin graduātus (past participle of graduāre), equivalent to grad(us) grade, step + -u- thematic vowel + -ātus -ate1

Related formsgrad·u·a·tor, nounnon·grad·u·ate, nounsu·per·grad·u·ate, nounun·grad·u·at·ing, 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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for graduate

British Dictionary definitions for graduate


noun (ˈɡrædjʊɪt)

  1. a person who has been awarded a first degree from a university or college
  2. (as modifier)a graduate profession
US and 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
(tr) mainly US and Canadian to confer a degree, diploma, etc upon
(tr) to mark (a thermometer, flask, etc) with units of measurement; calibrate
(tr) to arrange or sort into groups according to type, quality, etc
(intr often foll by to) to change by degrees (from something to something else)
Derived Formsgraduator, noun

Word Origin for graduate

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

Word Origin and History for graduate
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper