AskDefine | Define commencement

Dictionary Definition



1 the time at which something is supposed to begin; "they got an early start"; "she knew from the get-go that he was the man for her" [syn: beginning, first, outset, get-go, start, kickoff, starting time, showtime, offset] [ant: middle, end]
2 an academic exercise in which diplomas are conferred [syn: commencement exercise, commencement ceremony, graduation, graduation exercise]
3 the act of starting something; "he was responsible for the beginning of negotiations" [syn: beginning, start] [ant: finish]

User Contributed Dictionary





  1. The first existence of anything; act or fact of commencing; rise; origin; beginning; start.
    The time of Henry VII ... nearly coincides with the commencement of what is termed modern history. -allam.
  2. The day when degrees are conferred by colleges and universities upon students and others.
  3. A graduation ceremony, from a school, college or university.


an act of commencing or beginning
day degrees are conferred
graduation ceremony


  • 1913}}



Extensive Definition

Commencement may refer to:

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

A, alpha, baccalaureate service, beginning, birth, blast-off, celebration, ceremonial, ceremony, conception, convocation, creation, cutting edge, dawn, dawning, derivation, edge, empty formality, establishment, exercise, exercises, flying start, formal, formality, foundation, fresh start, function, genesis, graduation, graduation exercises, grass roots, head, inaugural, inauguration, inception, initiation, institution, jump-off, kick-off, leading edge, liturgy, mummery, new departure, observance, office, oncoming, onset, opening, origin, original, origination, outbreak, outset, outstart, performance, provenience, radical, radix, religious ceremony, rise, rite, rite de passage, rite of passage, ritual, root, running start, send-off, service, setting in motion, setting-up, solemnity, solemnization, source, square one, start, start-off, starting point, stem, stock, take-off, taproot
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