: moving or happening by steps or degrees <We watched the gradual approach of the train.>
— grad·u·al·lyadverb<Rain gradually ended.>
Word Root of GRADUAL
The Latin word gradus, meaning “step” or “degree,” gives us the root grad. Words from the Latin gradus have something to do with steps. Anything gradual happens slowly one step at a time. To degrade is to reduce from a higher to a lower degree. A grade is a step in school made up of one year of work. Even the word degree itself has gradus as its root.