by degrees

idiom

: very slowly : by a series of small changes
The tomatoes changed by degrees from green to red.

Examples of by degrees in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Even after the Nazis invade Poland, halfway through the opening episode, things advance by degrees, so that the next worst thing can’t quite be imagined, and once imagined really believed. Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times, 28 Mar. 2024 Through these changes, the child learned to walk and to speak; by degrees, the child grew and aged and, eventually, died. Merve Emre, The New Yorker, 29 Jan. 2024 Arti Gollapudi plays all three of Deepali’s older sisters, for example, differing mainly by degrees of uptightness. Rhoda Feng, New York Times, 20 Nov. 2023 Britain in the time of George III was a liberal monarchy, but Britain democratized only by degrees in the 19th century. Dominic Green, WSJ, 30 June 2023 Their comments were by degrees somewhat less offensive than those of Martinez. Steve Lopez, Los Angeles Times, 10 Oct. 2022 The #MeToo movement offers proof that a culture can change — slowly and by degrees. Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 28 Apr. 2023 That said, failing to limit screen content does open the door to harm, by degrees, so weigh that risk and your options for minimizing it, if any. Carolyn Hax, Washington Post, 20 Sep. 2022 And Rahim, quick to embrace this astonishing new notion of himself, embellishes it with glib fibs plus prevarications leading to outright lies, accompanied by anger that grows, by degrees, into rage culminating in physical violence. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, 6 Jan. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'by degrees.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Dictionary Entries Near by degrees

Cite this Entry

“By degrees.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/by%20degrees. Accessed 21 Apr. 2024.

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