gradation

noun
gra·​da·​tion | \ grā-ˈdā-shən How to pronounce gradation (audio) , grə- \

Definition of gradation

1a : 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

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Other Words from gradation

gradational \ grā-​ˈdā-​shnəl How to pronounce gradational (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl , grə-​ \ adjective
gradationally adverb

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".

Examples of gradation in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The good news is that there are gradations of certainty in fingerprinting — not all devices and browsers are equally easy to detect. Geoffrey A. Fowler, The Denver Post, "What is fingerprinting? The online tracking you can’t avoid," 10 Nov. 2019 Castes tried to position themselves as higher in the gradation every ten years. Jaithirth Rao, Quartz India, "Can Hindu conservatives make room for reform in religion?," 4 Nov. 2019 But, unlike the official emojis, which convey ever more detailed gradations of emotion, the Emoji Mashup Bot’s hybrid expressions capture thornier feelings—ones that don’t have names. Michele Moses, The New Yorker, "A Bot That Captures the Ambivalence of Human Emotion," 4 Sep. 2019 Her eyes reflect fear, anger, frustration, determination and all gradations in between. Stephanie Zacharek, Time, "The 10 Best Movie Performances of the 2010s," 14 Nov. 2019 The good news is that there are gradations of certainty in fingerprinting — not all devices and browsers are equally easy to detect. Geoffrey A. Fowler, The Denver Post, "What is fingerprinting? The online tracking you can’t avoid," 10 Nov. 2019 The good news is that there are gradations of certainty in fingerprinting — not all devices and browsers are equally easy to detect. Washington Post, "Think you’re anonymous online? A third of popular websites are ‘fingerprinting’ you.," 31 Oct. 2019 And what’s with the orangey red gradations of color on bumper stickers and lapel buttons? Los Angeles Times, "Campaign merchandise 2020: The fashion hits and misses," 15 Oct. 2019 But Mitchell’s method yields stronger gestures, blacker blacks and subtle gradations of brownish grays. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, "In the galleries: Some art is sultry, while other pieces are smoky," 19 July 2019

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.

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First Known Use of gradation

1549, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for gradation

see grade entry 1

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Time Traveler for gradation

Time Traveler

The first known use of gradation was in 1549

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Statistics for gradation

Last Updated

5 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Gradation.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/gradation. Accessed 15 December 2019.

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More Definitions for gradation

gradation

noun
How to pronounce gradation (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of gradation

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on gradation

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with gradation

Spanish Central: Translation of gradation

Nglish: Translation of gradation for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of gradation for Arabic Speakers

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