American Dictionary of the English Language

Dictionary Search


DIPLOMA, noun [Gr., to double or fold. Anciently, a letter or other composition written on paper or parchment and folded; afterwards, an y letter, literary monument, or public document.] A letter or writing conferring some power, authority, privilege or honor. Diplomas are given to graduates of colleges on their receiving the usual degrees; to clergymen who are licensed to exercise the ministerial functions; to physicians who are licensed to practice their profession; and to agents who are authorized to transact business fro their principals. A diploma then is a writing or instrument, usually under seal and signed by the proper person or officer, conferring merely honor, as int he case of graduates, or authority, as int he case of physicians, agents, etc.