\ 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


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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Tyshon Perry, a classmate of Mia’s since sixth grade, died at a Metro station. Perry Stein, Washington Post, "‘It makes me angry’: For D.C. students, safe passage to school can prove elusive," 6 July 2019 The union is also demanding maximum classroom sizes that range between 20 and 24 students in early grades, counselors for every 250 students, and librarians and nurses staffed at every school. Hannah Leone,, "City offers Chicago public school teachers 14% pay raise over five years," 3 July 2019 The small liberal-arts college in Amherst, Mass., known for eschewing majors and formal grades, is one of the country’s many small private colleges under financial strain. Jon Kamp, WSJ, "Filmmaker Ken Burns Tries to Rally Hampshire Alumni to Keep College Afloat," 2 July 2019 Pinecrest Academy Horizon, a charter school in Henderson, Nevada, with 720 students in kindergarten through fifth grade, installed two Louroe microphones early this year with both the aggression- and gunshot-detection software packages. Jack Gillum, ProPublica, "Aggression Detectors: The Unproven, Invasive Surveillance Technology Schools Are Using to Monitor Students," 25 June 2019 Pinecrest Academy Horizon, a charter school in Henderson, Nevada, with 720 students in kindergarten through fifth grade, installed two Louroe microphones early this year with both the aggression- and gunshot-detection software packages. Klint Finley, WIRED, "A Device to Detect 'Aggression' in Schools Often Misfires," 25 June 2019 Hikes range from 6 to 8 hours (7 to 12 miles) on moderate to steep grades (sometimes at high altitude). National Geographic, "Tour du Mont Blanc," 17 June 2019 When Kavya Kopparapu was in fourth grade, a group of female scientists visited her classroom and combined a couple of chemicals that caused foam to shoot out of a beaker. Samantha Leach, Glamour, "Meet Glamour's 2019 College Women of the Year," 11 June 2019 The synagogue offers regular Shabbat and holiday services as well as Hebrew school for K-8th grade, USY programs, adult programs and family events. Pomerado News, "New rabbi coming to Ner Tamid in Poway," 10 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Students who earn president’s list honors must carry at least 12 graded credit hours and earn a GPA of 3.900 or above. Houston Chronicle, "Area students earn honors, graduate from colleges," 8 July 2019 Los Alamitos thoroughbred review Saturday’s big-time graded stakes, the Grade 2 $200,000 Great Lady M Stakes for fillies and mares going 6 ½ furlongs was a repeat for Marley’s Freedom. John Cherwa,, "Racing! Congratulations to Marley’s Freedom," 7 July 2019 On the other side, a field is being cleared with grading equipment for a new development. Adrian Higgins, Washington Post, "‘This is going to be a bad one’: A new pest is causing quarantines in Va. and Pa.," 26 June 2019 The path is wide and fairly well graded with a few distinctive turnaround points. Roger Naylor, azcentral, "Kid-friendly Grand Canyon: Here are the 6 best activities for families at the South Rim," 26 June 2019 Meanwhile, a tornado graded by the National Weather Service as an EF-2 struck Copperas Cove, about 55 miles (89 kilometers) southwest of Waco, on Sunday with winds estimated at 115 mph. Fox News, "Dallas crane collapse victim identified as 29-year-old woman," 9 June 2019 Instead, the legislation that passed the state Senate only requires companies to disclose the demographics of their boards and executives and makes plans for an annual report card on companies’ diversity graded by the University of Illinois. Emma Hinchliffe, Fortune, "Illinois Almost Follows in California's Board Footsteps: The Broadsheet," 7 June 2019 Protective glass designed to stop bullets vary in strength and is graded by nine levels, McConnell said. Steve Sadin,, "Deerfield District 109's cafeteria renovations move forward following debate over 'assault weapon proof' windows," 5 June 2019 O’Gorman said plans call for grading the site and moving 1,200 cubic feet of dirt to ensure natural drainage to the south. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "Plans underway for 12 new homes, equipment sales business," 11 June 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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Learn More about grade

Dictionary Entries near grade





grade A


grade beam

Statistics for grade

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for grade

The first known use of grade was in 1526

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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)

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with grade

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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