Definition of graduate in English:


Syllabification: grad·u·ate


Pronunciation: /ˈgrajo͞oit
  • 1A person who has successfully completed a course of study or training, especially a person who has been awarded an undergraduate academic degree.
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    • Training courses usually take graduates or school leavers any time after they've got their qualification.
    • He has also won the three major teaching awards in his college and both the graduate and undergraduate teaching awards in his department.
    • And of the nine with a law degree, four were graduates of Harvard Law School.
  • 1.1North American A person who has received a high school diploma: she is 19, a graduate of Lincoln High
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    • In many cases, elementary-school teachers were simply graduates of the local high school.
    • Half of high school graduates receive an advanced education.
    • Many high school graduates want to receive a university education abroad, but few people can afford this.
  • 2A graduated cup, tube, flask, or measuring glass, used especially by chemists and pharmacists.
    More example sentences
    • Rinse flask with small portions of non-saturated acetonitrile and transfer rinsings to the graduate with disposable pipette until 5 ml is collected.
    • Uncap the flask, and use a pipette to transfer excess liquid above the 1.0 L mark to a 25-mL graduate.


Pronunciation: /ˈgrajo͞oˌāt
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  • 1 [no object] Successfully complete an academic degree, course of training, or high school: I graduated from West Point in 1965
    More example sentences
    • Between 1873 and 1933 only six students graduated from high school.
    • Only five out of 12 of Gina's siblings graduated from high school.
    • The report recommended that states require students to take a minimum number of courses in core academic subjects in order to graduate from high school.
    get one's diploma, get one's degree, pass one's exams, complete/finish one's studies
  • 1.1 [with object] informal Receive an academic degree from: she graduated college in 1970
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    • She graduated college with a degree in Art History but didn't work a day since receiving her diploma.
    • As a result, she graduated college with a degree in engineering even though she couldn't draw a straight line.
    • At 23, she was employed by Newsweek-Paris shortly after graduating college with a degree in journalism.
  • 1.2 [with object] North American Confer a degree or other academic qualification on: the school graduated more than one hundred arts majors in its first year
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    • Murgel attended Louisiana State University and was graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering.
    • Without this additional dimension in the analysis of students it is difficult to explain efforts by universities to graduate students faster.
    • Most of those jobs have gone to India and China, whose universities graduate hundreds of thousands of engineers each year.
  • 1.3 (graduate to) Move up to (a more advanced level or position): he started with motorbikes but now he’s graduated to his first car
    More example sentences
    • Students will start with the basic moves before graduating to more difficult stamina-building sequences.
    • Encouraged by her parents to follow her passions, Julie took dance classes from the age of two, moving on to a drama group and graduating to Scottish Youth Theatre.
    • Initially working in cartoons, he graduated to sitcoms, before moving into drama.
    progress, advance, move up
  • 2 [with object] Arrange in a series or according to a scale: (as adjective graduated) a graduated tax
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    • The inheritance tax is graduated into three classes according to the ‘nearness’ of family connection.
    • Unlike the income tax, which is graduated, the payroll tax is calculated as a flat percentage of income.
    • A radical ministry which gained office with socialist support in 1895 and tried to introduce graduated income and inheritance taxes was brought down by the Senate.
  • 2.1Mark out (an instrument or container) in degrees or other proportionate divisions: the stem was graduated with marks for each hour [as adjective]: graduated cylinders
    More example sentences
    • To assess flight ability, a tube containing a fly was placed above a small hole in a plastic top covering a 1-liter graduated cylinder.
    • Flies were dropped into a 500-ml graduated cylinder whose inside wall was covered with paraffin oil.
    • The standing ladder is graduated with eight horizontal lines marked from I to 8.
    calibrate, mark off, measure out, grade
  • 3 [with object] Change (something, typically color or shade) gradually or step by step: the color is graduated from the middle of the frame to the top
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    • She flicked her wrist like a magician and produced a little fan of plastic strips, in graduated colours like paint samples.
    • Coloured lenses are trendy, especially if they have a graduated colour scheme.
    • My sister, on the other hand, literally bought her living room from the catalog in graduated shades of tan.


Pronunciation: /ˈgrajo͞oit
[attributive] Back to top  
  • 1Relating to graduate school education: the graduate faculty
  • 1.1Having graduated from a school or academic program: a graduate electrical engineer


late Middle English: from medieval Latin graduat- 'graduated', from graduare 'take a degree', from Latin gradus 'degree, step'.


The traditional use is “be graduated from”: she will be graduated from medical school in June . However, it is now more common to say “graduate from”: she will graduate from medical school in June . The use of graduate as a transitive verb, as in he graduated high school last week , is increasingly common, especially in speech, but is considered incorrect by most traditionalists.

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