Definitions

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

  • n. A series of gradual, successive stages; a systematic progression.
  • n. A degree or stage in such a progression.
  • n. A passing by barely perceptible degrees from one tone or shade, as of color, to another. See Synonyms at nuance.
  • n. The act of gradating or arranging in grades.
  • n. Linguistics See ablaut.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A sequence of gradual, successive stages; a systematic progression.
  • n. A passing by small degrees from one tone or shade, as of color, to another. See Synonyms at nuance.
  • n. The act of gradating or arranging in grades.
  • n. A calibration marking.
  • n. A gradual change within one parameter, or an overlapping of two blocks of sound.
  • n. Apophony.
  • v. To form with gradations.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of progressing by regular steps or orderly arrangement; the state of being graded or arranged in ranks.
  • n. The act or process of bringing to a certain grade.
  • n. Any degree or relative position in an order or series.
  • n. A gradual passing from one tint to another or from a darker to a lighter shade, as in painting or drawing.
  • n. A diatonic ascending or descending succession of chords.
  • transitive v. To form with gradations.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of grading, or the state of being graded; orderly or continuous arrangement or succession; serial order or sequence according to size, intensity, quality, rank, attainment, or the like.
  • n. Hence Progress from one degree or state to another; a regular advance from step to step: as, the gradations of an argument.
  • n. A degree or relative position in any order or series.
  • n. In the fine arts, the regular arrangement or subordination to one another of the parts of any work of art, so as to produce the best effect, as, in painting, the gradual blending of one tint into another.
  • n. In music, a diatonic ascending or descending succession of chords.
  • n. In philology, the relation of the radical vowels in a series of verbal forms or derivatives derived with variation from the same verbal root, as sing, sang, sung: same as ablaut.
  • n. In geology, the process of producing an even slope, by agencies of erosion and transportation, on which the supply and removal of rock-waste or detrital material are about balanced.

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

  • n. relative position in a graded series
  • n. a degree of ablaut
  • n. the act of arranging in grades

Etymologies

Latin gradātiō, gradātiōn-, from gradus, step; see grade.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • I. i.37 (361,8) And not by old gradation] [W: Not (as of old)] _Old gradation_, is _gradation_ established by_ancient_ practice.

    Notes to Shakespeare, Volume III: The Tragedies

  • With the third solid inset, the directress, when she has arranged the pieces in gradation, calls the child's attention to the first one, saying, "This is the largest," and to the last one, saying, "This is the smallest."

    The Montessori Method

  • [Page 343] temporaneous one of the recognition of tactile stimuli in gradation, prepares for writing.

    The Montessori Method

  • In another "House," I have seen the children take the entire box, empty the sixty-four colour-tablets upon the table and after carefully mixing them, rapidly collect them into groups and arrange them in gradation, constructing a species of little carpet of delicately coloured and intermingling tints.

    The Montessori Method

  • But is there no gradation from the man of strong and sound intellect, down to the idiot?

    Letter 172

  • She showed that the gradation is the same when the Slovenes say Ni vreden pol kurca!

    languagehat.com: SERBIAN SWEARING.

  • The gradation from the style of freedom and simplicity, to that of form and servitude, may be traced in the Epistles of Cicero, of Pliny, and of Symmachus.] 74 The emperor Gratian, after confirming a law of precedency published by Valentinian, the father of his Divinity, thus continues: Siquis igitur indebitum sibi locum usurpaverit, nulla se ignoratione defendat; sitque plane sacrilegii reus, qui divina praecepta neglexerit.

    The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

  • As a rule, no colour exists in nature without gradation, which is to colours what curvature is to lines.

    Field's Chromatography or Treatise on Colours and Pigments as Used by Artists

  • This is a reversal of the more usual notion, but the idea of gradation is equally present.

    Form and Function A Contribution to the History of Animal Morphology

  • Von Baer also held that there are four distinct types of structure; he, too, combated the idea of gradation within the limits of the type.

    Form and Function A Contribution to the History of Animal Morphology

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