\ 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 -grade (audio) \ adjective


gradable \ ˈgrā-​də-​bəl How to pronounce -grade (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 Snow is a sixth-grade science teacher and softball coach at Causey Middle School in Mobile County, the school website shows. Carol Robinson |, al, "Alabama teacher charged in 1990s sexual assault of student placed on leave," 4 Jan. 2021 As adults, Makia Wallace worked as a corrections officer for the Orange County Jail, while 35-year-old Dougkindra Wallace became a third-grade teacher at Rolling Hills Elementary School. Monivette Cordeiro,, "Mom questions dropped charges in 1-year-old’s hot-car death in Orlando: ‘All I’m asking for is justice’," 31 Dec. 2020 Zelene Blancas, a first grade teacher at Dr. Sue A. Shook Elementary School in El Paso, Texas, died Monday, her family told CNN. Christina Zdanowicz, CNN, "El Paso teacher whose video of students hugging became a national sensation dies from Covid-19," 31 Dec. 2020 Learning opportunities, first-grade teacher Stanlee Maliszewski said, have widened substantially. Sam Lubell, Los Angeles Times, "14 clever COVID-19 design solutions from around the world," 29 Dec. 2020 Samuel Quarcoo’s crusade started by happenstance in 1999, when a third-grade teacher asked him to visit her class and give a presentation about Ghana, his African homeland. Washington Post, "This man is a waiter at a Md. country club. He also helps support thousands of students in Ghana, his home country.," 28 Dec. 2020 Anna Schmeck is spending Christmas in the Middle East with her National Guard unit, but the Pennsylvania third-grade teacher has a holiday message for her students back home. Michael Ruiz, Fox News, "Pennsylvania teacher sends Merry Christmas message home to students while deployed with National Guard," 25 Dec. 2020 This month, the first grade teacher finally realized her dream. Kelli Smith,, "‘I moved in 10 days before Christmas. Oh my God.’ A Chicago housing program has helped a record number of families buy homes this year," 25 Dec. 2020 John Gallagher, a 6th grade English teacher at Ramsey, has been helping Ekegren with the pantry since its start. Mara Klecker, Star Tribune, "St. Paul teachers and neighbors deliver groceries and holiday cheer to families in need," 23 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Hilliard also recovered a fumble that was forced by Pete Werner, who didn’t grade out as a champion. Stephen Means, cleveland, "Which Ohio State football players graded as champions in the 2020 Big Ten Championship?," 21 Dec. 2020 That gave Cal an opportunity to see the players compete with peers and grade their ability to take instruction. Rusty Simmons,, "Cal, Stanford football recruiting: Get ready for a wild National Signing Day," 15 Dec. 2020 Despite the fact that the student never showed up for class, Sullivan was told to grade the student. Kristen Taketa, San Diego Union-Tribune, "For many teachers, distance learning is a constant fight to get students to engage," 6 Dec. 2020 Berkeley, California, discussed it back in 2014, and gas-station information stickers that grade a fuel's impact on the environment are in use in Sweden. Sebastian Blanco, Car and Driver, "Gas Pumps to Get Climate, Health Warning Labels in Cambridge, MA," 20 Dec. 2020 Harry Miller — who moved to center for the game — was the only starting offensive lineman who did not grade out as a champion. Stephen Means, cleveland, "Which Ohio State football players graded as champions in the win over Michigan State?," 7 Dec. 2020 The Texas Education Agency did not grade schools this year because of the coronavirus pandemic, having cancelled the annual State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness exam, or STAAR., "Timeline of coronavirus in San Antonio: November," 1 Dec. 2020 Patterson might grade his rushers even more strictly. Ben Goessling, Star Tribune, "Quick release makes Teddy Bridgewater difficult to sack," 27 Nov. 2020 For the first time this season, quarterback Justin Fields didn’t grade out as a champion after having arguably his worst game as a Buckeye. Stephen Means, cleveland, "Which Ohio State football players graded as champions in win over Indiana?," 23 Nov. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The opener had a full line of vehicles for the first of its type event – a multi-grade level fine and performing arts holiday showcase. Karie Angell Luc,, "‘Wonderfest’ featured drive-by holiday performances by students, light show at Barrington High School: ‘It’s a new adventure’," 14 Dec. 2020 Aspire 5 is Acer's mid-grade, traditional clamshell laptop line. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "New laptops announced at Acer Next 2020 feature Intel Tiger Lake," 22 Oct. 2020 In some places, economics may still warrant elevating ground, redevelopment of sub-grade infrastructure, and making streets porous. Bill Mckibben, The New Yorker, "The Most Important Global Forecast That You’ve Never Heard Of," 14 Oct. 2020 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

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Grade.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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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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