graduate (plural graduates)
- A person who is recognized by a university as having completed the requirements of a degree studied at the institution.
- If the government wants graduates to stay in the country they should offer more incentives.
- (US, Canada) A person who is recognized by a high school as having completed the requirements of a course of study at the school.
- A graduated (marked) cup or other container, thus fit for measuring.
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- (intransitive, ergative) To be recognized by a school or university as having completed the requirements of a degree studied at the institution.
- The man graduated in 1967.
- Trisha graduated from college.
- (transitive, proscribed) To be certified as having earned a degree from; to graduate from (an institution).
- Trisha graduated college.
- (transitive) To certify (a student) as having earned a degree
- Indiana University graduated the student.
- The college graduated him as soon as he was no longer eligible to play under NCAA rules.
- (transitive) To mark (something) with degrees; to divide into regular steps or intervals, as the scale of a thermometer, a scheme of punishment or rewards, etc.
- (intransitive) To change gradually.
- sandstone which graduates into gneiss; carnelian sometimes graduates into quartz
- To prepare gradually; to arrange, temper, or modify by degrees or to a certain degree; to determine the degrees of.
- to graduate the heat of an oven
- Dyers advance and graduate their colours with salts.
- (chemistry) To bring to a certain degree of consistency, by evaporation, as a fluid.
- To taper, as the tail of certain birds.
In the sense “to complete studies”, usage has shifted from the 19th century through the 21st century. Originally (from the 16th century) used transitively as “the school graduated the student” or passively as “the student was graduated [from the school, by the school]”; compare certified. In the 19th century began to be used as an ergative verb in the intransitive form “the student graduated from school”, “the student graduated”; the ergative occurs in English for change of state (compare break, melt), and reverses the subject compared to the transitive form: the student is the subject, not the school. This was originally proscribed, but was generally accepted by mid-20th century, and is now the preferred usage. The form “was graduated from” is a fossil, seen primarily in wedding invitations and obituaries, though the active form “the school graduated the student” is still in use. A further shift started mid-20th century, using the verb transitively with student subject, as in “the student graduated college” (note no “from”; compare completed). This has been used in major periodicals from the 1990s, but remains proscribed into the 21st century, being considered at best informal, at worst uneducated.
Note that there are thus two transitive forms, with the subject and object switching between the school and the student: “I graduated Indiana University” (newer, proscribed) vs. “Indiana University graduated me” (older, somewhat old-fashioned).
- Feminine plural of