Graduate - Encyclopedia




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GRADUATE (Med. Lat. graduare, to admit to an academical degree, gradus), in Great Britain a verb now only used in the academical sense intransitively, i.e. " to take or proceed to a university degree," and figuratively of acquiring knowledge of, or proficiency in, anything. The original transitive sense of "to confer or admit to a degree" is, however, still preserved in America, where the word is, moreover, not strictly confined to university degrees, but is used also of those successfully completing a course of study at any educational establishment. As a substantive, a "graduate" (Med. Lat. graduatus) is one who has taken a degree in a university. Those who have matriculated at a university, but not yet taken a degree, are known as "undergraduates." The word "student," used of undergraduates e.g. in Scottish universities, is never applied generally to those of the English and Irish universities. At Oxford the only "students" are the "senior students" (i.e. fellows) and "junior students" (i.e. undergraduates on the foundation, or "scholars") of Christ Church. The verb "to graduate" is also used of dividing anything into degrees or parts in accordance with a given scale. For the scientific application see Graduation below. It may also mean "to arrange in gradations" or "to adjust or apportion according to a given scale." Thus by "a graduated income-tax" is meant the system by which the percentage paid differs according to the amount of income on a pre-arranged scale.

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