A diploma is a document people receive when they graduate from a school or program. It is a symbol of academic success. You often see framed diplomas displayed in a doctor's office.

Are you working toward a diploma? Then you must be in school. People receive high school and college diplomas, which they usually receive during a graduation ceremony. You could also get a diploma for a shorter series of classes in something like pottery, skydiving, or marksmanship. Even a dog could get a diploma for passing obedience school. Any time someone gets a diploma, you can be sure they finished a course or program of learning.

Definitions of diploma
  1. noun
    a document certifying the successful completion of a course of study
    synonyms: sheepskin
    see moresee less
    HND, Higher National Diploma
    a diploma given for vocational training that prepares the student for a career in a particular area; good students may progress to a course leading to a degree
    type of:
    certificate, certification, credential, credentials
    a document attesting to the truth of certain stated facts
Word Family

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week


  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week