Definition of commencement in English:

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Pronunciation: /kəˈmɛnsm(ə)nt/


1The beginning of something: the commencement of the trial [mass noun]: the date of commencement
More example sentences
  • Mr Bradley also refused to be drawn on a deadline for the commencement or a finishing date for the road.
  • That date has two significances, but, critically, it is the date of the commencement of the new preference regime.
  • They both urged their members to remain calm as they waited for management to set dates for the commencement of negotiations.
beginning, start, starting point, opening, outset, onset, launch, initiation, inception, birth, dawn, origin;
day one
informal kick-off
2North American A ceremony in which degrees or diplomas are conferred on university or high-school students: [as modifier]: a commencement address
More example sentences
  • They captured him speaking at the commencement ceremony at Harvard University.
  • Asian University hosted its annual commencement ceremony last week.
  • I had the honor of addressing a commencement class today at Harvard University Law School.


Middle English: from Old French, from the verb commencier (see commence).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: com¦mence|ment

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