degree

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noun de·gree \di-ˈgrē\

Definition of degree

  1. 1 :  a step or stage in a process, course, or order of classification advanced by degrees We all know that you're only three degrees away from all sorts of interesting and even famous people on social media. — Alex Proud

  2. 2a :  a rank or grade of official, ecclesiastical, or social position people of low degreeb archaic :  a particular standing especially as to dignity or worthc :  the civil (see civil 4) condition or status of a person

  3. 3 genealogy :  a step in a direct line of descent or in the line of ascent to a common ancestor

  4. 4a obsolete :  step, stairb archaic :  a member of a series arranged in steps (as of parts of a structure)

  5. 5 medical :  a measure of damage to tissue caused by injury or disease — compare first-degree burn, second-degree burn, third-degree burn

  6. 6a :  the extent, measure, or scope of an action, condition, or relation different in degree but not in kind requiring a high degree of skillb :  relative intensity a high degree of stressc grammar :  one of the forms or sets of forms used in the comparison of an adjective or adverbd law :  a legal measure of guilt or negligence found guilty of murder in the first degree

  7. 7a education :  a title conferred on students by a college, university, or professional school on completion of a program of study earned her four-year degree associate's degrees has a degree in psychologyb :  a grade of membership attained in a ritualistic order or society received his first degree in the Knights of Columbusc :  an academic title conferred to honor distinguished achievement or service The actor was presented with an honorary degree.d :  the formal ceremonies observed in the conferral of such a distinction

  8. 8 mathematics :  a unit of measure for angles equal to an angle with its vertex at the center of a circle and its sides cutting off 1360 of the circumference a fifteen degree angle 47 degrees Latitude; also :  a unit of measure for arcs of a circle equal to the amount of arc that subtends a central angle of one degree

  9. 9 archaic :  a position or space on the earth or in the heavens as measured by degrees of latitude

  10. 10 music a :  a step, note, or tone of a scaleb :  a line or space of the musical staff

  11. 11 :  one of the divisions or intervals marked on a scale of a measuring instrument; specifically :  any of various units for measuring temperature 350 degrees Fahrenheit

  12. 12 mathematics a :  the sum of the exponents of the variables in the term of highest degree in a polynomial, polynomial function, or polynomial equationb :  the sum of the exponents of the variable factors of a monomialc :  the greatest power of the derivative of highest order in a differential equation after the equation has been rationalized (see rationalize 2) and cleared of fractions with respect to the derivative

degreed

play \-ˈgrēd\ adjective

to a degree

  1. 1 :  to a remarkable extent :  exceedingly I felt desolate to a degree — Charlotte Brontë

  2. 2 :  in a small way to a degree he succeeded

Examples of degree in a sentence

  1. There are 360 degrees in a circle.

  2. These trees will thrive, to a greater or lesser degree, in a number of climates.

Illustration of degree

Origin and Etymology of degree

Middle English, from Anglo-French degré, from Vulgar Latin *degradus, from Latin de- + gradus —see degrade


First Known Use: 13th century


DEGREE Defined for English Language Learners

degree

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noun de·gree \di-ˈgrē\

Definition of degree for English Language Learners

  • : a unit for measuring temperature

  • : a unit for measuring the size of an angle

  • : an amount or level that can be measured or compared to another amount or level


DEGREE Defined for Kids

degree

play
noun de·gree \di-ˈgrē\

Definition of degree for Students

  1. 1 :  a step in a series His health improved by degrees.

  2. 2 :  amount of something as measured by a series of steps a high degree of progress

  3. 3 :  one of the three forms an adjective or adverb may have when it is compared

  4. 4 :  a title given (as to students) by a college or university She received a degree of doctor of medicine.

  5. 5 :  one of the divisions marked on a measuring instrument (as a thermometer)

  6. 6 :  a 360th part of the circumference of a circle

  7. 7 :  a line or space of the staff in music or the difference in pitch between two notes

Word Root of degree

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.


Medical Dictionary

degree

play
noun de·gree \di-ˈgrē\

Medical Definition of degree

  1. 1:  a measure of damage to tissue caused by injury or disease—see first-degree burn, second-degree burn, third-degree burn

  2. 2a:  a title conferred on students by a college, university, or professional school on completion of a unified program of studyb:  an academic title conferred honorarily

  3. 3:  one of the divisions or intervals marked on a scale of a measuring instrument; specifically :  any of various units for measuring temperature

  4. 4:  a 360th part of the circumference of a circle

degreed

\-ˈgrēd\play adjective

Law Dictionary

degree

noun de·gree

Legal Definition of degree

  1. 1 :  a step in a direct line of descent or in the line of ascent to a common ancestor

  2. 2a :  a measure of the seriousness of a crime — see also fifth degree, first degree, fourth degree, second degree, third degree Editor's note: Crimes are rated by degrees for the purpose of imposing more severe punishments for more serious crimes. b :  a measure of care; also :  a measure of negligence especially in connection with bailments — see also care, negligence



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