from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A stage or degree in a process.
  • n. A position in a scale of size, quality, or intensity: a poor grade of lumber.
  • n. An accepted level or standard.
  • n. A set of persons or things all falling in the same specified limits; a class.
  • n. A level of academic development in an elementary, middle, or secondary school: learned fractions in the fourth grade.
  • n. A group of students at such a level: The third grade has recess at 10:30.
  • n. Elementary school.
  • n. A number, letter, or symbol indicating a student's level of accomplishment: a passing grade in history.
  • n. A military, naval, or civil service rank.
  • n. The degree of inclination of a slope, road, or other surface: the steep grade of the mountain road.
  • n. A slope or gradual inclination, especially of a road or railroad track: slowed the truck when he approached the grade.
  • n. The level at which the ground surface meets the foundation of a building.
  • n. A domestic animal produced by crossbreeding one of purebred stock with one of ordinary stock.
  • n. Linguistics A degree of ablaut.
  • transitive v. To arrange in steps or degrees.
  • transitive v. To arrange in a series or according to a scale.
  • transitive v. To determine the quality of (academic work, for example); evaluate: graded the book reports.
  • transitive v. To give a grade to (a student, for example).
  • transitive v. To level or smooth to a desired or horizontal gradient: bulldozers graded the road.
  • transitive v. To gradate.
  • transitive v. To improve the quality of (livestock) by crossbreeding with purebred stock.
  • intransitive v. To hold a certain rank or position.
  • intransitive v. To change or progress gradually: piles of gravel that grade from coarse to fine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A rating.
  • n. The performance of an individual or group on an examination or test, expressed by a number, letter, or other symbol; a score.
  • n. A degree or level of something; a position within a scale; a degree of quality.
  • n. A slope (up or down) of a roadway or other passage
  • n. A level of pre-collegiate education.
  • n. A student of a particular grade (used with the grade level).
  • n. An area that has been graded by a grader (construction machine)
  • n. The level of the ground.
  • n. A gradian.
  • n. A harsh scraping or cutting; a grating.
  • v. To assign scores to the components of an academic test.
  • v. To assign a score to overall academic performance.
  • v. To flatten, level, or smooth a large surface.
  • v. To remove or trim part of a seam allowance from a finished seam so as to reduce bulk and make the finished piece more even when turned right side out.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A step or degree in any series, rank, quality, order; relative position or standing
  • n.
  • n. The rate of ascent or descent; gradient; deviation from a level surface to an inclined plane; -- usually stated as so many feet per mile, or as one foot rise or fall in so many of horizontal distance; ; a grade of twenty feet per mile, or of 1 in 264.
  • n. A graded ascending, descending, or level portion of a road; a gradient.
  • n. The result of crossing a native stock with some better breed. If the crossbreed have more than three fourths of the better blood, it is called high grade.
  • transitive v. To arrange in order, steps, or degrees, according to size, quality, rank, etc.
  • transitive v. To reduce to a level, or to an evenly progressive ascent, as the line of a canal or road.
  • transitive v. To cross with some better breed; to improve the blood of.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To sort out or arrange in order according to size, quality, rank, degree of advancement, etc.: as, to grade fruit, wheat, or sugar; to grade the children of a school.
  • To reduce, as the line of a canal, road, or railway, to such levels or degrees of inclination as may make it suitable for being used.
  • To improve the breed of. as common stock, by crossing with animals of pure blood.
  • Same as graith.
  • In physical geography, to develop by eroding or filling (degrading or aggrading) into an even slope on which an eroding and transporting agent (such as a stream) will not actively build up or wear down its course.
  • In philology to alter or be altered by gradation or ablaut.
  • To prove to be of a certain grade or quality.
  • n. A step, degree, or rank in any series or order; relative position or standing as regards quantity, quality, office, etc.
  • n. In a road or railroad, the degree of inclination from the horizontal; also, a part of such a road inclined from the horizontal. It is expressed in degrees, in feet per mile, or as a foot in a certain distance.
  • n. In zoölogical classification, any group or series of animals, with reference to their earlier or later branching off from the stem or stock from which they are presumed to have evolved.
  • n. An animal, particularly a cow or bull or a sheep, resulting from a cross between a parent of pure blood and one that is not pure-bred: as, an Aldevney grade. [Also used as an adjective.]
  • n. In trigonometry, in the centesimal system, the hundredth part of a right angle: also, the hundredth part of a quadrant.
  • n. A small difference between the brightness of two stars: substantially the same as a step: a term used by observers of variable stars.
  • n. In philol., one of the positions or forms assumed by a vowel or root in a series of phonetic changes caused primarily by change of stress and other factors, as the vowels in English sing, sang, sung, ride, rode, ridden, etc., Latin capio, cepi, -cipio, etc., Greek √λειπ, √λιπ, √λοιπ, leave, √τεμ, √ταμ, √τομ, cut, etc.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a degree of ablaut
  • v. assign a rank or rating to
  • n. the gradient of a slope or road or other surface
  • n. the height of the ground on which something stands
  • v. determine the grade of or assign a grade to
  • n. a variety of cattle produced by crossbreeding with a superior breed
  • n. one-hundredth of a right angle
  • v. assign a grade or rank to, according to one's evaluation
  • v. level to the right gradient
  • n. a relative position or degree of value in a graded group
  • n. a position on a scale of intensity or amount or quality
  • n. a body of students who are taught together
  • n. a number or letter indicating quality (especially of a student's performance)


French, from Latin gradus; see ghredh- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French grade ("a grade, degree"), from Latin gradus ("a step, pace, a step in a ladder or stair, a station, position, degree"), from gradi ("to walk, step"), from Proto-Indo-European *gʰradʰ-, *gʰredʰ- (“to walk, go”). Cognate with Gothic 𐌲𐍂𐌹𐌸𐍃 (griþs, "step, grade"), Bavarian Gritt ("step, stride"), Lithuanian grìdiju ("to go, wander"). (Wiktionary)


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