\ˈgrād \

Definition of grade 

(Entry 1 of 4)

1a(1) : a position in a scale of ranks or qualities

(2) : a stage in a process

b : a degree of severity in illness grade III carcinoma

c : a class organized for the work of a particular year of a school course

d : a military or naval rank

2a : a class of things of the same stage or degree

b : a mark indicating a degree of accomplishment in school

c : a standard of food quality

3a : the degree of inclination of a road or slope also : a sloping road

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 arrange in grades : sort

b : to arrange in a scale or series

c : to assign to a grade or assign a grade to

2 : to level off to a smooth horizontal or sloping surface

intransitive verb

1a : to form a series

b : blend

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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from grade


gradeless \ ˈgrād-​ləs \ adjective


gradable \ ˈgrā-​də-​bəl \ adjective

Examples of grade in a Sentence


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


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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The account has 124,000 followers as of this writing, but when Amir started it at the end of eighth grade, there was almost no demand for it. Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox, "How to succeed in business by being a Taylor Swift fan," 7 Nov. 2018 Later this month, the company goes a step further, testing a beta program called Sleep Score, which will assign a nightly number grade. Laura Regensdorf, Vogue, "How to Get a Better Night’s Sleep—And Why It Should Be Your Top Priority (Really)," 1 Nov. 2018 There are currently 491 students enrolled in grades 9-12. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Everything We Know About Brett Kavanaugh's High School, Georgetown Prep," 27 Sep. 2018 Experts say: Ross believe that grades are in no way a prediction of a child's success. Alexis Jones, Woman's Day, "QUIZ: Where Do You Stand on These Back-to-School Parenting Questions?," 23 Aug. 2018 Weirdly, Burnham refined a lot of his understanding of eighth grade by practicing that most sociopathic of the arts: stand-up comedy. Belinda Luscombe, Time, "How Bo Burnham Turns Anxiety Into a Work of Art," 12 July 2018 Information on the District 39 website, taken from the school’s 2017 report card, indicates that Romona has 572 students between pre-school and fourth grade. Kathy Routliffe,, "Romona School parents ask Wilmette for Locust Road crossing guard," 12 July 2018 Kids in fourth to eighth grades are invited to enjoy brownies and join a book club at 4 p.m. July 25. Vickie Snow Jurkowski, Daily Southtown, "From fests to concerts to stargazing, lots of events offer free admission this summer," 12 July 2018 This is more a matter of bookkeeping than a basketball move, but let’s grade the deal for each team involved. Rob Mahoney,, "Trade Grades: Charlotte, Chicago and Orlando Complete Pragmatic Three-Team Trade," 8 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

More than 2,500 of them, grades 3-10, took the English and math exams. Dahlia Bazzaz, The Seattle Times, "Seattle’s school test scores improving — except for students learning English," 18 Sep. 2018 The Dean's List recognizes the top 20 percent of students taking a minimum of three graded, full-credit courses. Houston Chronicle, "Katy-area students honored by colleges, universities," 6 Feb. 2018 The health agency's inspection grading system gives restaurants two chances to earn an A rating during each inspection cycle. Zlati Meyer, USA TODAY, "Trump vs. Red Hen restaurant: Eateries in Trump properties also dinged for violations," 5 July 2018 Palazzolo’s thoughts are based largely on PFF’s grading system, which is in its fourth year of projecting collegiate prospects. Conor Orr,, "How Teams Interview Top Quarterback Prospects," 18 Apr. 2018 True, grading a writing test is more subjective than scoring a multiple-choice test. Naomi Schaefer Riley, WSJ, "Save the SAT Writing Test," 8 July 2018 After making 10 picks and one trade in the 2018 NHL draft, here's how league analysts graded the Red Wings' haul, either by pick or by overall draft class: The ESPN reporters chopped up the draft into to categories: winners and losers. Kirkland Crawford, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Red Wings overwhelmingly praised for NHL draft 2018," 25 June 2018 Privacy - Terms ▪ AFC East top 10 PFF-graded on offense: 1. Greg Cote, miamiherald, "Looking for reasons the Dolphins can surprise their doubters in 2018? Here are seven," 27 June 2018 On-site data helps, though the bottom of the hillside was re-graded in the late ‘90s to accommodate a temporary stage for anniversary performances. Michael Hill,, "Archaeologists scour Woodstock 1969 concert field," 21 June 2018

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.

See More

First Known Use of grade


1526, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)


1659, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


1852, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for grade


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


see grade entry 1


see grade entry 1

Adjective combining form

French, from Latin -gradus, from gradi

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about grade

Dictionary Entries near grade






grade A


Statistics for grade

Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for grade

The first known use of grade was in 1526

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for grade



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)

: 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 \

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 \

Medical Definition of grade 

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on grade

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


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
True or False

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

Dictionary Devil

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


Love words? Need even more definitions?

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