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Slang Dictionary: Cum Laude

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What Does "Cum Laude" Mean

What Does “Cum Laude” Mean?

“Cum Laude” is a Latin phrase that is commonly used in academic contexts to denote a level of academic distinction. It signifies that a student has graduated with honors, typically by achieving a high Grade Point Average (GPA). This academic recognition is often used to highlight a student’s exceptional performance and dedication to their studies.

Related Words

Words related to “Cum Laude” include:

  • Magna Cum Laude: An even higher level of academic distinction, often signifying “with great honor.” It requires a higher GPA than Cum Laude.
  • Summa Cum Laude: The highest level of academic distinction, indicating “with the highest honor.” Achieving Summa Cum Laude status is a remarkable accomplishment.
  • Latin Honors: The collective term for academic distinctions like Cum Laude, Magna Cum Laude, and Summa Cum Laude.

Where Does This Word Come From?

The term “Cum Laude” is derived from Latin, where it means “with praise” or “with honor.” It has been adopted by academic institutions worldwide to acknowledge outstanding academic achievement. This tradition can be traced back to the European universities of the Middle Ages, where Latin was the language of instruction.

Who Uses This Word?

“Cum Laude” is commonly used by students, educators, and academic institutions to recognize and celebrate academic excellence. Students aspire to graduate Cum Laude as a mark of their dedication to their studies, while educators and institutions use it to motivate and reward high-achieving students.

Examples of Using This Word

Here are a few examples of how “Cum Laude” might be used:

“She worked diligently throughout her college years and graduated Cum Laude.”

“Earning Cum Laude honors is a testament to one’s commitment to academic excellence.”

What to Replace This Word With in Academic Writing

In formal academic writing, “Cum Laude” can be replaced with a more descriptive phrase, such as “with honors” or “graduated with distinction.” This provides a clearer understanding of the achievement for a broader audience.

Famous Quote

As Nelson Mandela once said:

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. Graduating Cum Laude is a testament to the power of knowledge.”


“Cum Laude” is a Latin phrase widely used in academia to recognize students who have graduated with honors, signifying their exceptional academic achievement. Its roots in Latin highlight its longstanding tradition in the academic world. While it’s a common term for celebrating high-achieving graduates, in formal academic writing, it’s advisable to use more descriptive language to convey the same meaning. Earning Cum Laude honors is a prestigious accomplishment that reflects a student’s dedication to their education.