Graduated vs Graduate what difference

what is difference between Graduated and Graduate




  1. simple past tense and past participle of graduate


graduated (not comparable)

  1. (obsolete) In steps.
  2. Having a university degree; having completed training.
  3. Marked with graduations.
  4. Arranged by grade, level, degree.
    • 1888, Joseph Stevens, A Parochial History of St. Mary Bourne, with an Account of the Manor of Hurstbourne Priors, Hants, London: Whiting and Co., p 17:
      The graduated slope of the Upper Test Valley on the east, and its more abrupt embankment on the west, under which the present stream tends to cling, point clearly to river action.
  5. (taxation) Increasing in rate with the taxable base.
  6. (ornithology) Of a tail, having successively longer feathers towards the middle.

Derived terms

  • graduated cylinder




From Latin graduātus (graduated), from gradus (step).



graduate (plural graduates)

  1. 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.
  2. (US, Canada) A person who is recognized by a high school as having completed the requirements of a course of study at the school.
  3. (Philippines) A person who is recognized as having completed any level of education.
  4. A graduated (marked) cup or other container, thus fit for measuring.


  • (person recognized for having finished studies): student, drop-out

Coordinate terms

  • (person recognized by school): graduand, undergraduate, postgraduate



graduate (comparative more graduate, superlative most graduate)

  1. graduated, arranged by degrees
  2. holding an academic degree
  3. relating to an academic degree


graduate (third-person singular simple present graduates, present participle graduating, simple past and past participle graduated)

  1. (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.
  2. (transitive, proscribed) To be certified as having earned a degree from; to graduate from (an institution).
    Trisha graduated college.
  3. (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.
  4. (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.
  5. (intransitive) To change gradually.
    sandstone which graduates into gneiss; carnelian sometimes graduates into quartz
  6. 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
  7. (chemistry) To bring to a certain degree of consistency, by evaporation, as a fluid.
  8. To taper, as the tail of certain birds.

Usage notes

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).

Derived terms

  • graduator

Related terms

  • grade
  • graduation






  1. second-person plural present indicative of graduare
  2. second-person plural imperative of graduare



  1. feminine plural of graduato


  • guardate




  1. vocative masculine singular of graduātus

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