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Definition of commencement:

  1. Beginning, rise, or origin; first existence; the great annual day at Cambridge on which degrees are conferred and prize essays read, & c.; the similar day at Oxford is called " The Commemoration".

Synonyms:

offshoot, beginning, scratch line, arising, arrival, initiation, scratch, starting point, number 1, first, low gear, offset printing, morning, counterbalance, graduation, rise, jump, rootage, graduation exercise, send-off, first-class honours degree, first base, commencement ceremony, low, stolon, day one, induction, start-off, ceremonial, branch, showtime, kickoff, baseline, incipience, fountain, get-go, head start, setoff, commencement exercise, set-back, threshold, root, gradation, startle, leadoff, nascence, fount, runner, number one, appearance, origination, outgrowth, onset, outset, starting line, opening, offset, dedication, launch, starting signal, alpha, first gear, starting, start, starting time, incipiency, communicator.

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