[val-i-dik-tawr-ee-uh n, -tohr-]


a student, usually the one ranking highest academically in a school graduating class, who delivers the valedictory at the commencement exercises.

Origin of valedictorian

An Americanism dating back to 1750–60; valedictory + -an Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for valedictorian

Contemporary Examples of valedictorian

Historical Examples of valedictorian

British Dictionary definitions for valedictorian


adjective also: valedictory

saying goodbye
of or relating to a farewell or an occasion of farewell


US and Canadian a person, usually the most outstanding graduate, who delivers a farewell speech at a graduation ceremony
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 valedictorian

1832 (n.), 1834 (adj.), American English, from valedictory + -ian.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper