Definition of graduate in English:


Pronunciation /ˈɡraj(ə)wət/ /ˈɡrædʒ(ə)wət/ /ˈɡrajəˌwāt/ /ˈɡrædʒəˌweɪt/

See synonyms for graduate

Translate graduate into Spanish


  • 1A person who has successfully completed a course of study or training, especially a person who has been awarded an undergraduate academic degree.

    degree holder, person with a degree
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    1. 1.1North American A person who has received a high school diploma.
      • ‘she is 19, a graduate of Lincoln High’
  • 2North American A graduated cup, tube, flask, or measuring glass, used especially by chemists and pharmacists.


  • 1no object Successfully complete an academic degree, course of training, or high school.

    ‘I graduated from West Point in 1965’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He also went to night school and graduated from high school six months early, all so he could go racing.’
    • ‘Some people have made it in a very short time with no training and others have graduated from university with degrees before climbing their career ladders.’
    • ‘For example in the North Texas Tongan Catholic Community, one out of five students graduated from high school.’
    • ‘By the time he graduated from high school his schoolmates had voted him ‘person most likely to succeed’.’
    • ‘He graduated from High School in 1956 with the highest grade point average that anyone had ever achieved at his school.’
    • ‘She graduated from high school in 1986 and then attended the University of Amsterdam.’
    • ‘When she graduated from high school she went to a university not too far from where I lived.’
    • ‘Students must now pass proficiency exams in order to enter and graduate from high school, replacing the system of social promotion.’
    • ‘Many students now graduate from high school having already completed many credits toward college.’
    • ‘Katie graduated from high school in 1996 and attended North Carolina State University the following autumn.’
    • ‘Students who fail to achieve minimum scores on state tests are prevented from graduating from high school with full academic diplomas.’
    • ‘She was a straight-A student in high school and later attended and graduated from Harvard University.’
    • ‘It was a miracle that he'd finally graduated, receiving a degree in Criminal Law, more as a way of pleasing his father than actually wanting it.’
    • ‘Other students who graduated received their national diplomas and BTech degrees.’
    • ‘Two weeks after he graduated, he received his draft notice.’
    • ‘After three hard years of college, Rindy graduated with a degree in business.’
    • ‘I am now in my last year of college and I am getting ready to graduate with a masters degree.’
    qualify, pass one's exams, pass, be certified, be licensed
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    1. 1.1US informal with object Receive an academic degree from.
      • ‘she graduated college in 1970’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘During college and right after graduating college, I spent many a Saturday at my parents' house, borrowing their laundry facilities.’
      • ‘I'm 21 years old, in three months I will be graduating college, and I have absolutely no idea what the future holds in store for me.’
      • ‘She was bound and determined to have a job before graduating college.’
      • ‘To me, this show should go on at least until Rory graduates college.’
      • ‘After I graduated college I took a full time job as a phone reservationist for an airline which had me sitting at a phone for eight hours a day fielding phone calls from the American public.’
      • ‘When I graduated college, I didn't know what I wanted to do.’
      • ‘Before I graduated college I had worked on several campaigns and spent a summer interning.’
      • ‘By the time I graduated college I'd figured out that I wasn't the typical marriageable Mormon woman.’
      • ‘Back in 1996, just after I graduated college, I drifted for a time rootless and aimless.’
      • ‘In fact, they had dated for over 6 years and they were planning to get married when she graduated college.’
      • ‘He had only recently graduated college and been removed from our parent's insurance.’
      • ‘We want to end a system where youth from low-income areas are seven times less likely to graduate college than youth from high-income areas.’
      • ‘Well, how would his wife not know he didn't graduate college?’
      • ‘I just graduated college and I have to start paying back my student loan soon.’
      • ‘The other half of the truth was that I was on the dean's list and preparing to graduate college with honors.’
      • ‘She graduated college with a Master's degree and now works for and organization to stop assassinations.’
      • ‘They both published bestselling first novels called Less Than Zero before graduating college.’
    2. 1.2North American with object Confer a degree or other academic qualification on.
      ‘the school graduated more than one hundred arts majors in its first year’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The squadron graduated its first six fully qualified F - 16 pilots June 7, 2002.’
      • ‘The University of Bahrain graduated its first class in 1989.’
      qualify, pass one's exams, pass, be certified, be licensed
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    3. 1.3graduate toMove up to (a more advanced level or position)
      ‘he started with motorbikes but now he's graduated to his first car’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘After four to six weeks, retake the step test to see if you've improved enough to justify graduating to the advanced workout.’
      • ‘The big bucks come into play when you graduate to more advanced levels.’
      • ‘Then, if a team was fortunate enough to graduate to the next level, the crew moved up as well.’
      • ‘Use 10% of the adult dose for one - to two-year-olds, graduating to 40% at age seven to eight and reaching full adult dose at 15 years.’
      • ‘Before graduating to the national side, they have worked hard to improve their sporting skills in streets, schools and subsequently at district, and state level, and later as members of junior national teams.’
      • ‘Miss Park began her study of the piano at the age of four and gave her first full recital when she was seven, graduating to play the Beethoven Piano Concerto No 1 with the Seoul Symphony Orchestra at the tender age of nine.’
      • ‘Since his debut in '99, Joe's career has yet to match all the early hype that surrounded him, seeming to remain in the land of promise, rather than graduating to domination and superstar status.’
      • ‘They can also claim credit for the country graduating to more mature view of the relations between church and state and a clean up of the ‘minority’ of crooked judges and priests.’
      • ‘For the first few years new recruits work under a senior analyst, mastering the fundamentals before graduating to handling fund management issues.’
      • ‘Later, he worked as a Parliamentary researcher before entering radio journalism in the late 1980s and graduating to television.’
      • ‘Loughman trained for three years before graduating to the dance company.’
      • ‘Except for this signing, the coaching staff have relied on players graduating to the first team from the club's training academy.’
      • ‘Now that I've given you tips on going faster with more control, you're probably graduating to the steeper stuff.’
      • ‘Ross, 25, worked as a courier, driving a van around Scotland, before graduating to heavy vehicles this summer.’
      • ‘Jo started on percussion and moved on to flute when a place became available and Matthew started on violin, graduating to the viola.’
      • ‘Now there's growing talk of Dixon graduating to Formula One, the Holy Grail of motor racing.’
      progress, advance, move up, go up, proceed, develop
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  • 2with object Arrange in a series or according to a scale.

    ‘the stones were graduated in height from the lowest near the entrance to the tallest opposite’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Competition classes are graduated according to the length of the fish.’
    • ‘It also alters the penalty system, in line with industry concerns, to graduate penalties according to the seriousness of the offence.’
    • ‘Any tax paid on inheritances above the exemption level is graduated, only rising to 55 percent for the largest estates.’
    • ‘That alternative could be a series of cards, graduated in height.’
    arrange in a series, arrange in order, order, group, classify, class, categorize, rank, grade, range
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    1. 2.1Mark out (an instrument or container) in degrees or other proportionate divisions.
      ‘the stem was graduated with marks for each hour’
      • ‘graduated cylinders’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Insert the bottom of the pouch into a graduated biohazard container and open the drainage port.’
      • ‘And the water remaining in the container was carefully measured to the nearest milliliter in a graduated cylinder.’
      • ‘The vertical arm is usually graduated with a scale for height adjustment.’
      calibrate, mark off, measure off, measure out, divide into degrees, grade
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  • 3with 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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘So it's really four graduated hearts, scaled to size, and then of course you'll need some decorative papers like these.’


  • 1Relating to graduate school education.

    • ‘the graduate faculty’
    1. 1.1Having graduated from a school or academic program.
      • ‘a graduate electrical engineer’


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


Late Middle English from medieval Latin graduat- ‘graduated’, from graduare ‘take a degree’, from Latin gradus ‘degree, step’.