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noun gra·di·ent \ˈgrā-dē-ənt\

• : a place where the ground slopes up or down

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

1. 1 a :  the rate of regular or graded ascent or descent :  inclination b :  a part sloping upward or downward

2. 2 :  change in the value of a quantity (as temperature, pressure, or concentration) with change in a given variable and especially per unit distance in a specified direction

3. 3 :  the vector sum of the partial derivatives with respect to the three coordinate variables x, y, and z of a scalar quantity whose value varies from point to point

4. 4 :  a graded difference in physiological activity along an axis (as of the body or an embryonic field)

5. 5 :  change in response with distance from the stimulus

## Examples of gradient in a sentence

1. <the path goes up at a pretty steep gradient before leveling off>

## Did You Know?

Any slope can be called a gradient. In the interstate highway system, the maximum gradient is 6 percent; in other words, the highway may never ascend more than 6 vertical feet over a distance of 100 feet. Any rate of change that's shown on a graph may have a sloped gradient. Suppose the graph's horizontal axis shows the passage of time and its vertical axis shows some activity; if the activity is happening very fast, then the gradient of the line on the graph will be steep, but if it's slow the gradient will be gentle, or gradual.

## Origin and Etymology of gradient

First Known Use: 1835

## Medical Dictionary

play
noun gra·di·ent \ˈgrād-ē-ənt\

1. 1:  change in the value of a quantity (as temperature, pressure, or concentration) with change in a given variable and especially per unit on a linear scale

2. 2:  a graded difference in physiological activity along an axis (as of the body or an embryonic field)

3. 3 usually gradient of effect :  change in response with distance from the stimulus

## Seen and Heard

#### peculiar

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different from the usual or normal

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