Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for September 3, 2020 is:
matriculate muh-TRIK-yuh-layt verb
1 : to enroll as a member of a body and especially of a college or university
2 : to be enrolled at a college or university
A spokesperson for the college said the school is expected to matriculate approximately 1,000 students for the fall semester.
“Vince Carter, the player who would come to be known as ‘Half-Man, Half-Amazing,’ matriculated at the University of North Carolina in the fall of 1995.” — Ben Golliver, The Washington Post, 28 June 2020
Did you know?
Anybody who has had basic Latin knows that alma mater, a fancy term for the school you attended, comes from a phrase that means “fostering mother.” If mater is mother, then matriculate probably has something to do with a school nurturing you just like good old mom, right? Not exactly. If you go back far enough, matriculate is distantly related to the Latin mater, but its maternal associations were lost long ago—even in terms of Latin history. It is more closely related to Late Latin matricula, which means “public roll or register.” Matricula has more to do with being enrolled than being mothered, but it is the diminutive form of the Latin matrix, which in Late Latin was used in the sense of “list” or “register” and earlier referred to female animals kept for the purposes of breeding.