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3 definitions found
 for commencement
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Commencement \Com*mence"ment\, n. [F. commencement.]
     1. The first existence of anything; act or fact of
        commencing; rise; origin; beginning; start.
        [1913 Webster]
              The time of Henry VII. . . . nearly coincides with
              the commencement of what is termed "modern history."
        [1913 Webster]
     2. The day when degrees are conferred by colleges and
        universities upon students and others.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

      n 1: the time at which something is supposed to begin; "they got
           an early start"; "she knew from the get-go that he was the
           man for her" [syn: beginning, commencement, first,
           outset, get-go, start, kickoff, starting time,
           showtime, offset] [ant: end, ending, middle]
      2: an academic exercise in which diplomas are conferred [syn:
         commencement, commencement exercise, commencement
         ceremony, graduation, graduation exercise]
      3: the act of starting something; "he was responsible for the
         beginning of negotiations" [syn: beginning, start,
         commencement] [ant: finish, finishing]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  81 Moby Thesaurus words for "commencement":
     A, alpha, baccalaureate service, beginning, birth, blast-off,
     celebration, ceremonial, ceremony, conception, convocation,
     creation, cutting edge, dawn, dawning, derivation, edge,
     empty formality, establishment, exercise, exercises, flying start,
     formal, formality, foundation, fresh start, function, genesis,
     graduation, graduation exercises, grass roots, head, inaugural,
     inauguration, inception, initiation, institution, jump-off,
     kick-off, leading edge, liturgy, mummery, new departure,
     observance, office, oncoming, onset, opening, origin, original,
     origination, outbreak, outset, outstart, performance, provenience,
     radical, radix, religious ceremony, rise, rite, rite de passage,
     rite of passage, ritual, root, running start, send-off, service,
     setting in motion, setting-up, solemnity, solemnization, source,
     square one, start, start-off, starting point, stem, stock,
     take-off, taproot

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