gradation

noun gra·da·tion \ grā-ˈdā-shən , grə- \

Definition of gradation

1 a :a series forming successive stages
  • the gradations of evolutionary development
b :a step or place in an ordered scale
2 :an advance by regular degrees
  • gradations of social progress
3 :a gradual passing from one tint or shade to another
4 :the act or process of grading
5 :ablaut

gradational

play \grā-ˈdā-shnəl, -shə-nᵊl, grə-\ adjective

gradationally

adverb

Recent Examples of gradation from the Web

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

Did You Know?

In the Boy Scouts, gradations of rank move upward from Tenderfoot to Eagle Scout. A violin or a voice can produce gradations of musical pitch too small to appear in written music. In the 18th century Jonathan Swift could even write of "the several kinds and gradations of laughter, which ladies must daily practice by the looking-glass".

Origin and Etymology of gradation

see 1grade


GRADATION Defined for English Language Learners

gradation

noun

Definition of gradation for English Language Learners

  • : a small difference between two points or parts that can be seen in something that changes gradually



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up gradation? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

pleasing or sweet sound

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Forms of Government Quiz

  • knupfer-painting-solon-before-croesus
  • A gerontocracy is rule by:
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!