degree

noun
de·​gree | \ di-ˈgrē How to pronounce degree (audio) \

Definition of degree

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
2a : a rank or grade of official, ecclesiastical, or social position people of low degree
b archaic : a particular standing especially as to dignity or worth
c : the civil (see civil sense 4) condition or status of a person
3 genealogy : a step in a direct line of descent or in the line of ascent to a common ancestor
4a obsolete : step, stair
b archaic : a member of a series arranged in steps (as of parts of a structure)
5 medical : a measure of damage to tissue caused by injury or disease — compare first-degree burn, second-degree burn, third-degree burn
6a : the extent, measure, or scope of an action, condition, or relation different in degree but not in kind requiring a high degree of skill
b : relative intensity a high degree of stress
c grammar : one of the forms or sets of forms used in the comparison of an adjective or adverb
d law : a legal measure of guilt or negligence found guilty of murder in the first degree
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 psychology
b : a grade of membership attained in a ritualistic order or society received his first degree in the Knights of Columbus
c : 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 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 ¹/₃₆₀ 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 archaic : a position or space on the earth or in the heavens as measured by degrees of latitude

10 music

a : a step, note, or tone of a scale
b : a line or space of the musical staff
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 mathematics

a : the sum of the exponents of the variables in the term of highest degree in a polynomial, polynomial function, or polynomial equation
b : the sum of the exponents of the variable factors of a monomial
c : the greatest power of the derivative of highest order in a differential equation after the equation has been rationalized (see rationalize sense 2) and cleared of fractions with respect to the derivative
to a degree
1 : to a remarkable extent : exceedingly I felt desolate to a degree— Charlotte Brontë
2 : in a small way to a degree he succeeded

Illustration of degree

Illustration of degree

degree 8

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Other Words from degree

degreed \ di-​ˈgrēd How to pronounce degreed (audio) \ adjective

Examples of degree in a Sentence

There are 360 degrees in a circle. These trees will thrive, to a greater or lesser degree, in a number of climates.

Recent Examples on the Web

The merchandise strategy for Galaxy’s Edge, which opened late last month in Disneyland, dovetails with Walt Disney Co.’s overall theming of the land, working the immersion angle to the nth degree. Dewayne Bevil, orlandosentinel.com, "Disney: Star Wars land’s souvenirs are from out of this galaxy," 7 June 2019 That in turn could increase the degree of synchronization. CBS News, "Dogs can feel their owner's stress, study suggests," 6 June 2019 That in turn could increase the degree of synchronization. NBC News, "Dogs owners feeling long-term stress can transfer it to their dogs, science shows," 6 June 2019 Crane who gave the Women Who Weld financial workshop said some participants also had old student loan debt to address but did not complete the degree that might have led to a better paying job. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, "These women are turning to welding for a financial spark," 6 June 2019 During his offseasons with the Bears, Suhey studied for his master’s degree in business at Northwestern and worked as a commodities trader. Will Larkin, chicagotribune.com, "Ranking the 100 best Bears players ever: No. 92, Matt Suhey," 6 June 2019 To this day, questions about the scope of the attack, including how many people carried out the violence and the degree of government involvement, remain unanswered. Teen Vogue, "Black Wall Street and the Tulsa Race Massacre of 1921, Explained," 31 May 2019 So, what makes Highgarden so much better than Riverrun, to the degree that Bronn is officially Westeros's Master of Coin? Carrie Wittmer, Harper's BAZAAR, "Game of Thrones: How Highgarden Made Bronn Hideously Wealthy," 29 May 2019 When that founder happens to be Steve Jobs, the most iconic innovator and inventor in our lifetime, then the degree of difficulty is matched only... Steven Sinofsky, WSJ, "‘Tim Cook’ Review: How to Succeed a Success," 15 Apr. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'degree.' 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 degree

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for degree

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

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Statistics for degree

Last Updated

10 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for degree

The first known use of degree was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for degree

degree

noun

English Language Learners Definition of degree

: 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

noun
de·​gree | \ di-ˈgrē How to pronounce degree (audio) \

Kids Definition of degree

1 : a step in a series His health improved by degrees.
2 : amount of something as measured by a series of steps a high degree of progress
3 : one of the three forms an adjective or adverb may have when it is compared
4 : a title given (as to students) by a college or university She received a degree of doctor of medicine.
5 : one of the divisions marked on a measuring instrument (as a thermometer)
6 : a 360th part of the circumference of a circle
7 : a line or space of the staff in music or the difference in pitch between two notes

degree

noun
de·​gree | \ di-ˈgrē How to pronounce degree (audio) \

Medical Definition of degree

1 : a measure of damage to tissue caused by injury or disease — see first-degree burn, second-degree burn, third-degree burn
2a : a title conferred on students by a college, university, or professional school on completion of a unified program of study
b : an academic title conferred honorarily
3 : one of the divisions or intervals marked on a scale of a measuring instrument specifically : any of various units for measuring temperature
4 : a 360th part of the circumference of a circle

Other Words from degree

degreed \ -​ˈgrēd How to pronounce degreed (audio) \ adjective

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degree

noun
de·​gree

Legal Definition of degree

1 : a step in a direct line of descent or in the line of ascent to a common ancestor
2a : a measure of the seriousness of a crime — see also fifth degree, first degree, fourth degree, second degree, third degree

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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More from Merriam-Webster on degree

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with degree

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for degree

Spanish Central: Translation of degree

Nglish: Translation of degree for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of degree for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about degree

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