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WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2016
di•plo•ma /dɪˈploʊmə/USA pronunciation   n. [countable],pl. -mas, Lat.-ma•ta 
    /-mətə/.USA pronunciation  
  1. Educationa document given by an educational institution granting a degree.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2016
di•plo•ma  (di plōmə), 
n., pl. -mas,  Lat.-ma•ta 
    (-mə tə), 
    v., -maed, -ma•ing. 

    1. Educationa document given by an educational institution conferring a degree on a person or certifying that the person has satisfactorily completed a course of study.
    2. a document conferring some honor, privilege, or power.
    3. a public or official document, esp. one of historical interest:a diploma from Carolingian times.

    1. Educationto grant or award a diploma to.
    • Greek díplōma a letter folded double, equivalent. to diplō-, variant stem of diploûn to double (derivative of diplóos; see diplo-) + -ma suffix of result
    • Latin diplōma a letter of recommendation, an official document
    • 1635–45

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

diploma /dɪˈpləʊmə/ n
  1. a document conferring a qualification, recording success in examinations or successful completion of a course of study
  2. an official document that confers an honour or privilege
Etymology: 17th Century: from Latin: official letter or document, literally: letter folded double, from Greek; see diplo-

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