\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Penelope also received a white swivel chair, rainbow tape lights that glow from behind her headboard and a special portrait of the grade-schooler created by artists the Kaplan Twins. Rachel Desantis,, "Scott Disick Just Gave 7-Year-Old Daughter Penelope's Bedroom a $20,000 Makeover," 17 Sep. 2019 One of the kids who led the pack became my little third grade boyfriend weeks later. Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times, "Sarah Silverman defends Dave Chappelle and humor that offends: ‘That’s comedy. You overstep’," 16 Sep. 2019 By seventh grade, the two were in the gym nearly every day., "You're using a browser set to private or incognito mode.," 15 Sep. 2019 Children who spend too much time engaged in electronic media are more likely to read and exercise less, be overweight, have lower grades and get less sleep. Daily Pilot, "Capistrano Valley High School hosts panel for parents concerned about teens’ gaming and social media habits," 12 Sep. 2019 However, the school district granted them an exemption from kindergarten to sixth grade. Fox News, "Texas court rules in favor of religious exemption for boy’s hair," 11 Sep. 2019 Terrible industrial sales and orders numbers from Italy on Tuesday show that its manufacturing recession is worsening, and could well precipitate a credit-rating cut by Fitch Ratings on Friday to BBB-, the lowest investment grade. Washington Post, "ECB Is Awake and Asleep at the Same Time," 18 Sep. 2019 McCarty attended school until the sixth grade and washed clothes for a living, saving money to help students needing financial assistance. USA TODAY, "Fugitive pig, proverb library, sodium warnings: News from around our 50 states," 16 Sep. 2019 Doug Mills/The New York Times Deborah Ramirez had the grades to go to Yale in 1983. New York Times, "Brett Kavanaugh Fit In With the Privileged Kids. She Did Not.," 14 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 Cabinet officials graded the bids, gave Taft the higher score and awarded the firm a two-year contract for up to $500,000. Tom Loftus, The Courier-Journal, "3 years, 0 criminal charges and $550K later, Bevin is still investigating Steve Beshear," 12 June 2019 But grading a draft on the fly seems as silly as declaring a sculpture a masterpiece after the first 10 minutes of chiseling. Henry Schulman,, "How the Giants’ first draft under Farhan Zaidi, Michael Holmes played out," 10 June 2019 According to Fangraphs, Realmuto graded as the most valuable defender at any position in baseball. Scott Lauber,, "What should the Phillies do with Maikel Franco? | Extra Innings," 5 June 2019 Last year, Greenpeace graded companies for their overall environmental impact. Anchorage Daily News, "The explosive problem with recycling iPads, iPhones and other gadgets: They catch fire.," 12 Sep. 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

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about grade

Statistics for grade

Last Updated

31 Oct 2019

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


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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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


to spread as a report or rumor

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Confusing Words—A Quiz

  • alice with tweedle dee and tweedle dum
  • I invented a brand new toaster robot and ______ it "Sir Toasts-a-Lot."
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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!