\ ˈgrād How to pronounce grade (audio) \

Definition of grade

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : a level of study in an elementary, middle, or secondary school that is completed by a student during one year will enter eleventh grade this year students in the second grade
b : the students in the same year of study in elementary, middle, or secondary school The ninth grade is away on a field trip.
c(1) : a position in a scale of ranks or qualities Each grade of steel contains sub-divisions corresponding to steels of different yield stress and impact requirements.— G. D. Taylor
(2) : a stage in a process … we should bear in mind that animals displaying early transitional grades of the structure will seldom continue to exist to the present day, for they will have been supplanted by the very process of perfection through natural selection.— Charles Darwin
d : a degree of severity in illness grade III carcinoma
e : a military or naval rank To be prepared for burial Claggart's body was delivered to certain petty-officers of his mess. And … the Master-at-arms was committed to the sea with every funeral honor properly belonging to his naval grade.— Herman Melville … her father being a country clergyman who had never reached a higher grade than that of an archdeacon …— Anthony Trollope
2a : a mark indicating a degree of accomplishment in school earned good grades in school What was your grade on the math test?
b : a class of things of the same stage or degree
c : a standard of food quality Extra-virgin is the highest grade of olive oil.— Lisa McManus
3a : the degree of inclination of a road or slope … one track went straight up the steep hill, the other one turned square off to the right, with a very slight grade.— Mark Twain also : a sloping road The car … toiled up the long, long grades, past Ash Fork, towards Flagstaff, where the forests and quarries are, under the dry, remote skies. — Rudyard Kipling
b : a datum or reference level especially : ground level
4 : a domestic animal with one parent purebred and the other of inferior breeding
5 [translation of German Stufe] linguistics : any of the variants of a root or affix (distinguished by a particular vowel or the absence of any vowel) in the ablaut series of an Indo-European language
6 grades plural : the elementary school system


graded; grading

Definition of grade (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

1a : to assign to a grade or assign a grade to … Mrs. Granger would be the one grading their spelling tests and their reading tests …— Andrew Clements … these students are being graded by the instructor whose methods or information they have reason to question.— Mary Lefkowitz
b : to arrange in grades : sort Each printing plant sends sample copies of its press run to the color lab, where they are graded for quality.— Robert Neuwirth
c : to arrange in a scale or series
2 : to level off to a smooth horizontal or sloping surface The ground should be graded to direct water flow away from the home.Consumer Reports

intransitive verb

1a : to form a series
b : blend Notice that the mud and the sand grade into each other along the sandbar.— Sheldon Judson and Marvin E. Kauffman
2 : to be of a particular grade



Definition of grade (Entry 3 of 4)

: being, involving, or yielding domestic animals of improved but not pure stock grade ewes grade breeding

Definition of -grade (Entry 4 of 4)

: walking plantigrade

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Other Words from grade


gradeless \ ˈgrād-​ləs How to pronounce -grade (audio) \ adjective


gradable \ ˈgrā-​də-​bəl How to pronounce -grade (audio) \ adjective

Examples of grade in a Sentence

Noun The fifth grade will perform their annual play this week. a grade of 90 percent or better Her grades are up this semester. an expensive grade of leather Verb Students will be graded on their reading ability. She hasn't finished grading the exams. How would you grade your meal on a scale from one to five? The eggs are graded according to size.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Furst, who has a 3.99 grade-point average, follows another Purdue recruit, Silver Creek’s Trey Kaufman-Renn, as the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year. Kyle Neddenriep, The Indianapolis Star, 5 June 2021 Best poster: Congratulations to Alayna Petsas of The Academy of St. Bartholomew in Middleburg Heights, who had the winning fourth-grade entry in the 2019 State Fire Marshal’s Poster Contest. Rich Heileman, cleveland, 5 June 2021 In these live Zoom sessions, Tavetta Patterson will introduce participants to Canva, an online platform that enables users to easily create professional-grade graphic designs., 4 June 2021 He was eventually moved to teaching an older grade, but soon left the school because of the hostile environment. James Griffiths, CNN, 4 June 2021 For example, in 2008, when the S&P 500 lost about 37%, investment-grade bonds gained about 5%. Anne Tergesen, WSJ, 4 June 2021 He was given the Norm Smith Leadership Award, which is given to the 12th grade student who best represents and exemplifies the school’s leadership model. Kristen Griffith,, 4 June 2021 Engel noted that Israel education is important in the school, as it is taught to students from kindergarten to 12th grade. Sergio Carmona,, 4 June 2021 On top of that, the new flagship Depstech DS500 Borescope with professional-grade features and construction is on sale for $119.99. Maren Estrada, BGR, 4 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Resist the compulsive drive to grade the Cowboys draft more than a week before the class reports to The Star for practice. David Moore, Dallas News, 5 May 2021 None of those interviewed gave Mr. Biden a C when asked to grade his performance in what might be considered the first quarter of a freshman year. John Mccormick, WSJ, 29 Apr. 2021 During the interview — her first since announcing her run for California governor — Jenner, a Republican, was asked by the host Sean Hannity to grade the performance of Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat. NBC News, 7 May 2021 SportsDay’s columnists and Cowboys insiders grade the Cowboys first-round pick of Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons. Dallas News, 30 Apr. 2021 But unlike his predecessor, overall public approbation of his presidency so far has remained steady at a positive level, in the mid-50s, though Americans grade him negatively on immigration. Star Tribune, 24 Apr. 2021 With that in mind, Popovich is willing to grade his team’s defensive performance on a curve. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, 4 Apr. 2021 Teller is the first Browns player since Joe Thomas in 2015 to grade above 90 in offense or defense. Scott Patsko, cleveland, 12 Nov. 2020 At the site of the bluff collapse just south of Fourth Street in Del Mar, the San Diego Association of Governments has hired a contractor to grade the top of the bluff, where large cracks have appeared since the Feb. 28 collapse. Phil Diehl, San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Mar. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Plus is the $105,150 Taycan 4S, which debuted for 2020 as the entry-level model but has since been promoted to mid-grade status with the introduction of a $81,250 rear-wheel-drive variant. Mike Sutton, Car and Driver, 19 May 2021 Anyone who knows anything at all about drones can probably name the go-to pro-grade quadcopter drone for amateurs and professionals on a budget. Maren Estrada, BGR, 13 May 2021 Matt Lazzaro, Franklin — The dynamic lefty attack decommitted from BU and chose to attend Penn State in 2022, but will first re-classify and play a post-grade season at Deerfield Academy., 3 May 2021 This pro-grade pan from Greenpan is nontoxic and nonstick — an ideal combo — and is built to last. Krystin Arneson, CNN Underscored, 1 Apr. 2021 In Sydney's multi-grade classroom, teacher Toni Sudduth, a classroom assistant and the 15 students practice social distancing and wear masks even when outside. USA Today, 7 Mar. 2021 The pro-grade sweeper will change your cleaning game with its six-blade technology. Popular Science, 21 Jan. 2021 The opener had a full line of vehicles for the first of its type event – a multi-grade level fine and performing arts holiday showcase. Karie Angell Luc,, 14 Dec. 2020 Aspire 5 is Acer's mid-grade, traditional clamshell laptop line. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, 22 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'grade.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of grade


1796, in the meaning defined at sense 1c(2)


1659, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1b


1852, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for grade

Noun, Verb, and Adjective

Latin gradus step, degree, from Latin gradi to step, go; akin to Lithuanian gridyti to go, wander

Adjective combining form

French, from Latin -gradus, from gradi

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Statistics for grade

Last Updated

7 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Grade.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for grade



English Language Learners Definition of grade

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a level of study that is completed by a student during one year
: the students in the same year of study at a school
: a number or letter that indicates how a student performed in a class or on a test



English Language Learners Definition of grade (Entry 2 of 2)

chiefly US : to give a grade to (a student or a student's work)
: to give a rating to (something)
: to separate (things) into groups or classes according to a particular quality


\ ˈgrād How to pronounce grade (audio) \

Kids Definition of grade

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a division of a school course representing a year's work He's in the fourth grade.
2 : the group of pupils in a school grade Fifth grade is holding a bake sale.
3 : a mark or rating especially in school I got a grade of A on the test.
4 : a position in a scale of rank, quality, or order a social grade
5 : a class of things that are of the same rank, quality, or order A … hide was worth from four to ten dollars, depending on the grade and quality.— Wilson Rawls, Where the Red Fern Grows
6 : the degree of slope (as of a road)


graded; grading

Kids Definition of grade (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to give a grade to as an indication of achievement The teacher graded my report a B.
2 : to give a rating to I'd grade the movie a ten.
3 : to arrange in grades according to some quality The eggs were graded by size.
4 : to make level or evenly sloping grade a highway


\ ˈgrād How to pronounce grade (audio) \

Medical Definition of grade

: a degree of severity of a disease or abnormal condition a grade III carcinoma

More from Merriam-Webster on grade

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grade

Nglish: Translation of grade for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grade for Arabic Speakers


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