doctor's degree ( defs 1, 2 ).

1670–80; < Medieval Latin doctorātus degree of doctor. See doctor, -ate3

predoctorate, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
doctorate (ˈdɒktərɪt, -trɪt)
Also called: doctor's degree the highest academic degree in any field of knowledge

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"degree of a doctor," 1670s, from doctor + -ate (1).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Perhaps he thought her doctorate in zoology was a doctorate in medicine.
He studied archeology in his spare time, and earned a doctorate at forty-one,
  when he quit teaching.
Olin is a full-range school, teaching business subjects from undergraduate to
  doctorate level.
She has a doctorate in physics and is a grandmaster of political chess, always
  many moves ahead of her rivals.
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