AskDefine | Define supplicant

Dictionary Definition

supplicant adj : humbly entreating; "a suppliant sinner seeking forgiveness" [syn: suppliant, supplicatory]


1 someone who prays to God [syn: prayer]
2 one praying humbly for something; "a suppliant for her favors" [syn: petitioner, suppliant]

User Contributed Dictionary



Latin supplicans, "supplicating, bowing down" from supplico "kneel, bow down, request", from sub- "lower" + plico "fold".


  • Hyphenation: sup·pli·cant


  1. one who comes to humbly ask or petition

Related terms

Extensive Definition

''This page is about candidates for degrees and humble petitioners; for information on the computing term see Supplicant (computer).
A Supplicant, one who supplicates, is a term applied to humble petitioners, and in particular to University of Oxford students who have qualified but not yet been admitted into their degree.
At both Oxford and Cambridge, students are presented during the degree ceremony with a form of words that begins with the Latin verb "supplicant". The Cambridge text is:
"Supplicant reverentiis vestris viri mulieresque quorum nomina juxta senaculum in porticu proposuit hodie Registrarius nec delevit Procancellarius ut gradum quisque quem rite petivit assequantur."
"Those men and women whose names the Registrary has today posted in the arcade beside the Senate-House and which the Vice-Chancellor has not deleted beg your reverences that they may proceed to the degree for which each has properly applied."
However, these students are referred to as graduands at Cambridge and most universities other than Oxford. There is certainly a need for such a word to describe qualified graduates and it seems possible that U.S. sources provided or resurrected "graduand" into current usage. The current online edition of the Oxford English Dictionary lists graduand citing usage from 1882 and 1890 and etymological roots of the gerundive of the medieval Latin graduare "to graduate".

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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