\ 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 curriculum spans all elementary grade levels, creating a wide range of alluring lessons. oregonlive, "Local schools earn $28,500 in grants from CenturyLink to boost technology and learning," 24 May 2020 Consolidation impact on students Consolidation could result in a greater number of students at each grade level, according to the presentation. Alec Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The Fox Point-Bayside and Maple Dale-Indian Hill consolidation could include closing an elementary school under one scenario," 22 May 2020 For more information on Pasadena ISD’s summer school offerings at all grade levels, visit Carissa Lamkahouan, Houston Chronicle, "Pasadena ISD summer school expected to be busy because of pandemic," 22 May 2020 The agency says people should avoid buying medical-grade surgical masks to avoid a shortage of personal protective equipment for first responders. NBC News, "Dan Levy urges people to think of face masks as 'the simplest, easiest act of kindness'," 21 May 2020 They’ll be directed to an appropriate volunteer based on grade level and subject. Mel Fronczek, The Indianapolis Star, "Retired teachers volunteer for Indiana K-12 homework help hotline," 18 May 2020 There also will be foundational literacy and math lessons available at all grade levels, with a particular emphasis on students who are learning English. Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times, "L.A. schools will start Aug. 18, whether campuses are open or not," 4 May 2020 What’s more, Reformation is matching purchases of its non-medical grade masks with a mask donation to L.A. protects. Braelyn Wood,, "If Your Face Mask Hurts Your Ears, Try These Genius Hacks to Prevent Irritation," 23 Apr. 2020 So far, he's sewn at least 75 masks, which can be used to supplement medical-grade personal protective equipment as supplies run low. Jessica Bennett, Better Homes & Gardens, "This Inspiring 13-Year-Old Sews Face Masks to Donate to Hospitals in Need," 21 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Johnson will man the slot and graded at 76.3 on PFF last season. Dan Labbe, cleveland, "How the revamped Browns match up with the Bengals in 2020," 27 May 2020 Editor’s note: This Future View is about the switch to pass/fail grading at many universities. WSJ, "The Case Against Switching to Pass/Fail," 28 Apr. 2020 Although Skura doesn’t grade out as an above-average pass blocker, he is tied for 11th in the NFL among all centers with at least 250 snaps played in run blocking grade., "The Pro Football Hall of Fame whittled the list of nominees for the 2020 class to 25 semifinalists. Former Patriots defensive end," 27 Nov. 2019 Here is how the Huskies players and position units graded out in the loss. Alex Putterman,, "Postgame grades: How UConn football’s players, position units performed in a 31-24 loss to East Carolina," 24 Nov. 2019 The fourth-year defensive end graded out at a 72.4. Tyler Dragon,, "Cincinnati Bengals release defensive end Anthony Zettel," 21 Oct. 2019 In its first year, the program will be for up to 20 students, giving priority to sixth-graders at Mary Fay Pendleton and grades 6-8 at San Onofre School. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, "How they voted, Aug. 25," 25 Aug. 2019 And of the four Florida cities graded by the report, only Tampa scored better than Orlando with a C-. Naseem S. Miller,, "Orlando gets D+ for premature birth rate in March of Dimes report," 8 July 2019 Weaver was credited with 159 stops in 2018, tied for second in the program's single-season record book, and graded out as one of the top linebackers across the FBS. Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY, "The 10 best linebackers in college football for the 2019 season," 12 May 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


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

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Grade.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Jun. 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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