baccalaureate (n.) 1620s, "university degree of a bachelor," from M.L. baccalaureatus, from baccalaureus "student with the first degree," altered by a play on words with bacca lauri "laurel berry" (laurels being awarded for academic success).
The Medieval Latin word perhaps ultimately is derived from L. baculum "staff" (see BACILLUS (Cf. bacillus)), which the young student might carry, but it is more likely just a re-Latinization of BACHELOR (Cf. bachelor) (q.v.) in its academic sense. In modern U.S. usage, the word usually is short for baccalaureate-sermon (1864), a religious farewell address to the graduating class.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • baccalaureate — or baccalaureate sermon or baccalaureate address [bak΄ə lôr′ē it] n. [ML baccalaureatus; as if < L bacca laureus, laurel berry, but actually < ML baccalaris, vassal farmer, young nobleman seeking to become a knight < ? Gaul * bakalākos,… …   English World dictionary

  • Baccalaureate — Bac ca*lau re*ate, n. [NL. baccalaureatus, fr. LL. baccalaureus a bachelor of arts, fr. baccalarius, but as if fr. L. bacca lauri bayberry, from the practice of the bachelor s wearing a garland of bayberries. See {Bachelor}.] 1. The degree of… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Baccalaureate — Bac ca*lau re*ate, a. Pertaining to a bachelor of arts. [1913 Webster] {Baccalaureate sermon}, in some American colleges, a sermon delivered as a farewell discourse to a graduating class. [1913 Webster] || …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • baccalaureate — ► NOUN 1) an examination qualifying candidates for higher education. 2) a university bachelor s degree. ORIGIN Latin baccalaureatus, from baccalaureus bachelor …   English terms dictionary

  • Baccalaureate — A baccalaureate is an educational qualification. See Bachelor s degree for background on the term.Baccalaureate may also refer to:*International Baccalaureate, a group of three internationally recognised educational programmes for students aged 3 …   Wikipedia

  • Baccalaureate — Baccalauréat dans le système universitaire anglo saxon Grades tradition anglo saxonne Doctorat Maîtrise Baccalauréat modifier Le baccalauréat dans le système universitaire anglo saxon (en anglais baccalaureate ou bachelor’s degree …   Wikipédia en Français

  • baccalaureate — UK [ˌbækəˈlɔːrɪət] / US [ˌbækəˈlɔrɪət] noun [countable] Word forms baccalaureate : singular baccalaureate plural baccalaureates an examination that you take when you are 18 years old in France and some other countries that allows you to study at… …   English dictionary

  • baccalaureate — [[t]bækəlɔ͟ːriət[/t]] 1) N SING The baccalaureate is an examination taken by students at the age of eighteen in France and some other countries. 2) N COUNT: usu N n In the United States, a baccalaureate service or address is a service that is… …   English dictionary

  • baccalaureate — /bak euh lawr ee it, lor /, n. 1. See bachelor s degree. 2. a religious service held at an educational institution, usually on the Sunday before commencement day. 3. See baccalaureate sermon. [1615 25; < ML baccalaureatus, equiv. to… …   Universalium

  • baccalaureate — bac|ca|lau|re|ate [ ,bækə lɔriət ] noun count 1. ) FORMAL a BACHELOR S DEGREE 2. ) an examination that you take when you are 18 years old in France and some other countries that allows you to study at a university => INTERNATIONAL… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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