diploma

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DIPLOMA. An instrument of writing, executed by, a corporation or society, certifying that a certain person therein named is entitled to a certain distinction therein mentioned.
     2. It is usually, granted by learned institutions to their members, or to persons who have studied in them.
     3. Proof of the seal of a medical institution and of the signatures of its officers thereto affixed, by comparison with the seal and signatures attached to a diploma received by the witness from the same institution, has been held to be competent evidence of the genuineness of the instrument, although the witness never saw the officers write their names. 25 Wend. R. 469.
     4. This word, which is also written duploma, in the civil law, signifies letters issued by a prince. They are so called, it is supposed, a duplicatis tabellis, to which Ovid is thought to allude, 1 Amor. 12, 2, 27, when he says, Tunc ego vos duplices rebus pro nomine sensi Sueton in Augustum, c. 26. Seals also were called Diplomata. Vicat ad verb.