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[dih-ploh-muh] /dɪˈploʊ mə/
noun, plural diplomas Latin, diplomata
[dih-ploh-muh-tuh] /dɪˈploʊ mə tə/ (Show IPA)
a document given by an educational institution conferring a degree on a person or certifying that the person has satisfactorily completed a course of study.
a document conferring some honor, privilege, or power.
a public or official document, especially one of historical interest:
a diploma from Carolingian times.
verb (used with object), diplomaed, diplomaing.
to grant or award a diploma to.
Origin of diploma
1635-45; < Latin diplōma a letter of recommendation, an official document < Greek díplōma a letter folded double, equivalent to diplō-, variant stem of diploûn to double (derivative of diplóos; see diplo-) + -ma suffix of result
Related forms
prediploma, noun
undiplomaed, adjective
Can be confused
certificate, degree, diploma, license. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for diploma
  • If transcripts do not show degree award date, please include a copy of the diploma.
  • Instead, he is sitting at home with a diploma that is.
  • Some students will first have to spend two years working on a master's degree or diploma.
  • Don't forget the first diploma handed out was given by someone without one.
  • People are required to have a high school diploma to be a janitor.
  • It used to be that a high school diploma was the tool to weed out people, now it is a college education.
  • It's long since been reduced to what a high school diploma used to be.
  • In this regard, while advanced education may be expensive, it is still vastly better than having only a high school diploma.
  • Maybe a job depends on the writing, a promotion, or a diploma.
  • Perry has the highest number of people with a high school diploma or less, a bunch of minimum wage jobs.
British Dictionary definitions for diploma


a document conferring a qualification, recording success in examinations or successful completion of a course of study
an official document that confers an honour or privilege
Word Origin
C17: from Latin: official letter or document, literally: letter folded double, from Greek; see diplo-
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for diploma

1640s, "state paper, official document," from Latin diploma, from Greek diploma "license, chart," originally "paper folded double," from diploun "to double, fold over," from diploos "double" (see diploid) + -oma. Specific academic sense is 1680s in English.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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