• synonyms


[verb muh-trik-yuh-leyt; noun muh-trik-yuh-lit]
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verb (used with object), ma·tric·u·lat·ed, ma·tric·u·lat·ing.
  1. to enroll in a college or university as a candidate for a degree.
  2. to register (a coat of arms), used especially in Scottish heraldry.
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verb (used without object), ma·tric·u·lat·ed, ma·tric·u·lat·ing.
  1. to be matriculated.
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  1. a person who has been matriculated.
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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 formsma·tric·u·la·tion, nounma·tric·u·la·tor, nounre·ma·tric·u·late, verb, re·ma·tric·u·lat·ed, re·ma·tric·u·lat·ing.un·ma·tric·u·lat·ed, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

entry, admission, acceptance, enrollment, preparation, training, practice, education, drill

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British Dictionary definitions for matriculation


  1. the process of matriculating
  2. (in Britain, except Scotland) a former school examination, which was replaced by the General Certificate of Education (Ordinary Level), now superseded by the General Certificate of Secondary Education
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verb (məˈtrɪkjʊˌleɪt)
  1. to enrol or be enrolled in an institution, esp a college or university
  2. (intr) to attain the academic standard required for a course at such an institution
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noun (məˈtrɪkjʊlɪt)
  1. Also called: matriculant a person who has matriculated
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Derived Formsmatriculator, 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

Word Origin and History for matriculation


1580s, noun of action from matriculate (v.).

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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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper