\ ˈgrād How to pronounce grade (audio) \

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

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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 Children in 6th grade or below must be accompanied by an adult, according to the Facebook post. Nyssa Kruse, Arkansas Online, "Former high school of 'The Voice' contestant Marybeth Byrd plans viewing party," 25 Nov. 2019 The group is made up of four students in Mrs. Mappes’ fourth grade class. Ty Vinson, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana 4th graders do their best to honor the flag, struggle to understand impeachment," 24 Nov. 2019 Westminster Girls Basketball High School Division for 9th-12th grade., "Rec Sports: Tryouts & Registrations for Nov. 24, 2019," 23 Nov. 2019 The Eugene School Board adopted a policy to provide free menstrual products in district bathrooms for grades six through 12 this week. oregonlive, "Portland schools have nation’s best cafeteria noodles, Eugene district to provide free menstrual products: The week in education," 23 Nov. 2019 In early 2021, Ford is shooting to introduce the Mach-E’s Select grade starting at $43,895 and the California RT.1 Edition with an initial price tag of $52,400. Jeff Yip, Houston Chronicle, "With Mustang Mach-E crossover, Ford travels a road less taken," 22 Nov. 2019 That took the form of grades in school and college, then earning a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, then finishing lists of peaks, with random other detours along the way. John Meyer, The Know, "Colorado woman first to climb all 846 peaks above 13,000 feet in every state but Alaska," 21 Nov. 2019 And in a less flagrant but nonetheless pernicious example of gender dynamics across top MBA programs, women’s grades often lag behind those of men—a reflection of curricula and evaluation systems that work to perpetuate structural inequalities. Sarah Todd, Quartz at Work, "Three MBA admissions heads explain why record numbers of women are going to business school," 21 Nov. 2019 CBS News was there as Mattielli and his classmates watched a 360-degree video, made by their 8th grade peers, for the first time. CBS News, "New Jersey school district turns to virtual reality to show how bullying feels," 20 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb What Makes a Truly Great Leader From time to time, President Donald Trump (he who pleaded the bone spurs defense to avoid service in Vietnam) has rather audaciously taken it upon himself to grade various American military figures, past and present. Hampton Sides, Time, "Douglas MacArthur Is One of America's Most Famous Generals. He's Also the Most Overrated," 11 Nov. 2019 For too long, the press — yes, including critics — has been prone to grade the Comic Book Industrial Complex on a curve, hungry for clicks, cowed by the genre’s popularity with readers and worn out by hyper-defensive fans. Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, "Scorsese is right about Marvel. Except when he’s wrong.," 7 Nov. 2019 The workers had two months to grade the land before the actual restoration started in October 1939. Paula Allen,, "Mystery of cannonball found at San Antonio’s La Villita in 1939 remains unsolved," 3 Aug. 2019 Experts point to the 100-percentage point grading system as a prime culprit. Kristen Taketa, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Teachers, experts question traditional ways of grading," 21 Oct. 2019 According to Jim Harbaugh, Hayes graded out as highly as left guard Ben Bredeson, center Cesar Ruiz and right guard Michael Onwenu — all three of whom are upperclassmen and multi-year starters. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan football's Ryan Hayes starts to emerge at offensive tackle," 4 Sep. 2019 In a Facebook post, the university said no student would be penalized for a system issue and faculty would find alternative ways for assignments to be submitted and graded, or postponed. Elizabeth Hernandez, The Denver Post, "Regis University’s technology systems targeted by “malicious threat” likely from outside the country," 23 Aug. 2019 The College Board grades the final exam on a scale of 1 to 5. Talia Richman,, "Thousands of Baltimore students have lacked access to Advanced Placement. That’s about to change.," 22 July 2019 My roommate generously graded all of my date outfits to find the perfect one. Melissa Schorr,, "Blind date: ‘He told me how cute his dog was and did not even have a picture’," 5 July 2019 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


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

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 1526

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Statistics for grade

Last Updated

28 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Grade.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 6 December 2019.

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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

Comments on grade

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very cautious or careful

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