Definition of summa cum laude in US English:

summa cum laude

adjective & adverb

North American
  • With the highest distinction.

    as adverb ‘he graduated summa cum laude’
    as adjective ‘three scientific degrees, all summa cum laude’
    • ‘The Yale program will award summa cum laude degrees to the top 5 percent of the graduating class; magna cum laude to the next 10 percent, and cum laude to the next 15 percent.’
    • ‘Dr. Lisle graduated summa cum laude from Ohio Wesleyan University where he double-majored in physics and astronomy, and minored in mathematics.’
    • ‘She received a B.S. in Information Systems and Operations, summa cum laude, from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2004 and a J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center in 2007.’
    • ‘Oldfield, who graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in education, is typical of the graduates accepted by Teach for America.’
    • ‘The process of determining the degrees summa cum laude will be the same as described above.’


Latin, literally ‘with highest praise’.


summa cum laude

/ˌso͝omə ko͝om ˈloudā//ˌsʊmə kʊm ˈlaʊdeɪ/