\ ˈgrād How to pronounce grade (audio) \

Definition of grade

 (Entry 1 of 4)

1a : a level of study in an elementary, middle, or secondary school that is completed by a student during one year will enter eleventh grade this year students in the second grade
b : the students in the same year of study in elementary, middle, or secondary school The ninth grade is away on a field trip.
c(1) : a position in a scale of ranks or qualities Each grade of steel contains sub-divisions corresponding to steels of different yield stress and impact requirements.— G. D. Taylor
(2) : a stage in a process … we should bear in mind that animals displaying early transitional grades of the structure will seldom continue to exist to the present day, for they will have been supplanted by the very process of perfection through natural selection.— Charles Darwin
d : a degree of severity in illness grade III carcinoma
e : a military or naval rank To be prepared for burial Claggart's body was delivered to certain petty-officers of his mess. And … the Master-at-arms was committed to the sea with every funeral honor properly belonging to his naval grade.— Herman Melville … her father being a country clergyman who had never reached a higher grade than that of an archdeacon …— Anthony Trollope
2a : a mark indicating a degree of accomplishment in school earned good grades in school What was your grade on the math test?
b : a class of things of the same stage or degree
c : a standard of food quality Extra-virgin is the highest grade of olive oil.— Lisa McManus
3a : the degree of inclination of a road or slope … one track went straight up the steep hill, the other one turned square off to the right, with a very slight grade.— Mark Twain also : a sloping road The car … toiled up the long, long grades, past Ash Fork, towards Flagstaff, where the forests and quarries are, under the dry, remote skies. — Rudyard Kipling
b : a datum or reference level especially : ground level
4 : a domestic animal with one parent purebred and the other of inferior breeding
5 [translation of German Stufe] linguistics : any of the variants of a root or affix (distinguished by a particular vowel or the absence of any vowel) in the ablaut series of an Indo-European language
6 grades plural : the elementary school system


graded; grading

Definition of grade (Entry 2 of 4)

transitive verb

1a : to assign to a grade or assign a grade to … Mrs. Granger would be the one grading their spelling tests and their reading tests …— Andrew Clements … these students are being graded by the instructor whose methods or information they have reason to question.— Mary Lefkowitz
b : to arrange in grades : sort Each printing plant sends sample copies of its press run to the color lab, where they are graded for quality.— Robert Neuwirth
c : to arrange in a scale or series
2 : to level off to a smooth horizontal or sloping surface The ground should be graded to direct water flow away from the home.Consumer Reports

intransitive verb

1a : to form a series
b : blend Notice that the mud and the sand grade into each other along the sandbar.— Sheldon Judson and Marvin E. Kauffman
2 : to be of a particular grade



Definition of grade (Entry 3 of 4)

: being, involving, or yielding domestic animals of improved but not pure stock grade ewes grade breeding

Definition of -grade (Entry 4 of 4)

: walking plantigrade

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Other Words from grade


gradeless \ ˈgrād-​ləs How to pronounce gradeless (audio) \ adjective


gradable \ ˈgrā-​də-​bəl How to pronounce gradable (audio) \ adjective

Examples of grade in a Sentence

Noun The fifth grade will perform their annual play this week. a grade of 90 percent or better Her grades are up this semester. an expensive grade of leather Verb Students will be graded on their reading ability. She hasn't finished grading the exams. How would you grade your meal on a scale from one to five? The eggs are graded according to size.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The bill would require schools to teach students,at some point between seventh and twelfth grades, about the Holocaust and other genocides. Lily Altavena, azcentral, "Survivors want required Holocaust lessons for Arizona students: 'They need to know the truth'," 27 Jan. 2020 But in seventh grade, Taylor was diagnosed with sickle cell disease, which is a group of chronic disorders, sometimes fatal, that causes red blood cells to break down. Sharon Grigsby, Dallas News, "OK, boomers, this SMU student body president shows why his generation might be the one that can fix politics," 24 Jan. 2020 In seventh grade, Alaina Leary, now 24, created fake MySpace and AIM accounts to flirt with a guy who was particularly mean and toyed with the emotions of her best friend. Adryan Corcione, Teen Vogue, "9 Signs You’re Being Catfished," 21 Jan. 2020 Jade had a low-grade fever and a bit of a runny nose, but nothing that caused alarm. Sarah Kay Leblanc, USA TODAY, "Flu blinds, nearly kills 4-year-old girl: 'There were no warning signs,' mom says," 16 Jan. 2020 Also known as stomach flu, norovirus infections cause watery diarrhea, low-grade fever and, most alarming of all, projectile vomiting, which is an extremely effective way of spreading the virus. Patricia L. Foster, The Conversation, "Your blood type may influence your vulnerability to norovirus, the winter vomiting virus," 10 Jan. 2020 The realization can move between low-grade anxiety and full-blown panic — not unlike this opening track from Alex Lahey's The Best of Luck Club, in which guitars come crashing in and out like the Kool-Aid guy through a wall. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "25 Songs From LGBTQ Artists You May Have Missed In 2019," 19 Dec. 2019 The first symptoms of pertussis are similar to those of a common cold, and may include a runny nose, low-grade fever and a mild occasional cough. Steve Schering,, "Elementary student is 10th whooping cough case in Oak Park and River Forest within the past month," 12 Dec. 2019 The problem was that distilling had become a domestic trade, with low-grade gin freely and easily produced on private premises. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "The Intoxicating History of Gin," 2 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb But Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana performed so poorly that their responses could not be graded. Pried from my cold, dead hands. Fortune, "New Alphabet CEO, same old ABCs," 4 Feb. 2020 Superintendent Jodie Hausmann and Karen Derby-Lovell, the school district’s director of communications, spoke about the unusual situation that affected only Westerly Elementary School, which houses grades three and four. cleveland, "Bay Village school takes a break amidst increasing student illnesses," 3 Feb. 2020 The area between the driveway and front door is graded so there is no need for steps, and the two front porches connect through the tower and are at the same level as the house, so there are no steps to work around. Richard A. Marini,, "3 women built age-in-place compound to age together in Fair Oaks Ranch near San Antonio," 31 Jan. 2020 One finalist – Calumet Farm – led 2019 in earnings and graded wins. John Cherwa, Los Angeles Times, "Racing! Thoughts about the Eclipse Awards process," 11 Jan. 2020 Fisher Industries has submitted documents to the government that argue installing fence posts and clearing and grading the land will reduce flooding, though environmentalists disagree with that claim. Time, "Private Border Wall Gets Go-Ahead From Judge—Despite Trump Administration Objection," 10 Jan. 2020 Learn advanced techniques like editing audio, adding transitions and color grading your imagery over the course of three hours of training. NBC News, "This videography training course bundle is down to $30," 8 Jan. 2020 Later, these paths were enlarged into wagon roads and improved by removing tree stumps and grading the dirt road’s surface, smoothing out any bumps or ruts. Larry Printz, Ars Technica, "Turn-by-turntables: How drivers got from point A to point B in the early 1900s," 6 Jan. 2020 But the union said the work stoppage had an impact during finals, with some professors opting to assign shorter final papers or give multiple choice exams to cut back on grading while their graduate assistants are out on strike., "The bargaining committee for the Harvard Graduate Students Union-United Auto Workers sent an e-mail to members Monday announcing the end of the work stoppage that began Dec. 3, noting that progress has been made and that Harvard said publicly it intended to reach a contract by the end of January.," 1 Jan. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective District officials noted that the majority of Gwinnett students now take the Algebra End Of Course exam in place of the eighth grade math End Of Grade test and those results are not included in the calculation. Eric Stirgus, ajc, "Five takeaways from Gwinnett County’s Georgia Milestones results," 20 July 2017 Grade school camps are $75 and high school camps are $125. Aurora Beacon-News, "Shakespeare in the Park set in Geneva," 10 July 2017 Hague, an Alberta native and grade school teacher, began his MMA career in 2006 and fought five times on the UFC circuit from 2009 to 2011. Scott Allen,, "Former UFC fighter Tim Hague dies after getting knocked out in boxing match," 19 June 2017

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


1796, in the meaning defined at sense 1c(2)


1659, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1b


1852, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for grade

Noun, Verb, and Adjective

Latin gradus step, degree, from Latin gradi to step, go; akin to Lithuanian gridyti to go, wander

Adjective combining form

French, from Latin -gradus, from gradi

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Time Traveler for grade

Time Traveler

The first known use of grade was in 1659

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Statistics for grade

Last Updated

7 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Grade.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for grade


How to pronounce -grade (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of grade

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a level of study that is completed by a student during one year
: the students in the same year of study at a school
: a number or letter that indicates how a student performed in a class or on a test



English Language Learners Definition of grade (Entry 2 of 2)

chiefly US : to give a grade to (a student or a student's work)
: to give a rating to (something)
: to separate (things) into groups or classes according to a particular quality


\ ˈgrād How to pronounce grade (audio) \

Kids Definition of grade

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a division of a school course representing a year's work He's in the fourth grade.
2 : the group of pupils in a school grade Fifth grade is holding a bake sale.
3 : a mark or rating especially in school I got a grade of A on the test.
4 : a position in a scale of rank, quality, or order a social grade
5 : a class of things that are of the same rank, quality, or order A … hide was worth from four to ten dollars, depending on the grade and quality.— Wilson Rawls, Where the Red Fern Grows
6 : the degree of slope (as of a road)


graded; grading

Kids Definition of grade (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to give a grade to as an indication of achievement The teacher graded my report a B.
2 : to give a rating to I'd grade the movie a ten.
3 : to arrange in grades according to some quality The eggs were graded by size.
4 : to make level or evenly sloping grade a highway


\ ˈgrād How to pronounce grade (audio) \

Medical Definition of grade

: a degree of severity of a disease or abnormal condition a grade III carcinoma

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More from Merriam-Webster on grade

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for grade

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with grade

Spanish Central: Translation of grade

Nglish: Translation of grade for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of grade for Arabic Speakers

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