Definition of “graduate” - English Dictionary

“graduate” in British English

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graduatenoun [ C ]

uk /ˈɡrædʒ.u.ət/ us /ˈɡrædʒ.u.ət/

B2 UK a person who has a first degree from a university or college:

a Cambridge graduate
Chris is a physics graduate.

A2 US informal grad a person who has finished their school, college, or university education:

high-school graduates
a graduate of Yale

More examples

  • We would prefer to fill the post with a recent graduate.
  • A graduate of law and economics from Moscow State University, he had spent his life in academia.
  • At present the organization has to rely on young, inexperienced graduates.
  • Geography graduates are literate and numerate and have very good IT skills.
  • There are numerous opportunities for young graduates.


uk /ˈɡrædʒ.u.eɪt/ us /ˈɡrædʒ.u.eɪt/

graduate verb (EDUCATION)

B2 [ I ] UK to complete a first university degree successfully:

Lorna graduated from Freiburg University.
Tom has just graduated with first-class honours in psychology.

B2 [ I or T ] US to complete school, college, or university successfully:

After he graduated from high school, he joined the Army.

More examples

  • His heart swelled with pride as he stood watching his son graduate.
  • He graduated with a second-class honours degree in physics.
  • Greg and Jody met in their freshman year at college and married soon after they graduated.
  • Both their children graduated with degrees in economics.
  • She graduates in July.

(Definition of “graduate” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

“graduate” in American English

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graduatenoun [ C ]

us /ˈɡrædʒ·u·ɪt/ short form grad, /ɡræd/

a person who has successfully completed studies at a school or received a degree from a college or university:

a Yale graduate/a graduate of Yale
verb [ I/T ] us /ˈɡrædʒ·uˌeɪt/

[ I ] Although he never graduated from high school, he became a successful businessman.


us /ˈɡrædʒ·u·ɪt/ short form grad, /ɡræd/

relating to or working toward a university degree beyond the one you receive after four years of study:

(Definition of “graduate” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

“graduate” in Business English

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graduatenoun [ C ]

uk /ˈɡrædʒuət/ us

a student who has completed a university or college degree:

a 2010 college graduate
a graduate of sth Li is a graduate of Beijing University.
an Oxford/Harvard/Columbia graduate
a psychology/journalism/engineering graduate

US a student who has completed high school:

The boys were graduates of Winthrop High School.
a high school graduate


uk /ˈɡrædjueɪt/ us

[ I ] to complete a degree at a college or university:

The pharmacy college will hold classes for 12 months a year so that its students can graduate in three years .
graduate from sth In India, roughly two million English speakers graduate from university each year.

[ I ] US to complete high school:

The program continues until the students graduate from high school.

[ T ] US if a university, college, or school graduates students, it gives them an official document that proves they have completed their education there:

The business community has been frustrated that our city schools were graduating people who were illiterate.

(Definition of “graduate” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)