- taking place, changing, moving, etc., by small degrees or little by little: gradual improvement in health.
- rising or descending at an even, moderate inclination: a gradual slope.
- Ecclesiastical. (often initial capital letter)
- an antiphon sung between the Epistle and the Gospel in the Eucharistic service.
- a book containing the words and music of the parts of the liturgy that are sung by the choir.
Origin of gradual
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for gradual
Utilizing fear, or taking a reasoned approach to gradual, incremental change?Jon Stewart Talks ‘Rosewater’ and the ‘Chickensh-t’ Democrats’ Midterm Massacre
November 9, 2014
Now 88 senators are urging the Obama administration to take a very different approach to the group: gradual regime change.Senators: Take Gaza Away From Hamas
September 22, 2014
Tshering is in favor of growth, he says, but a “gradual one and spread throughout the year.”Can Traditional Bhutan Survive Tourism?
August 17, 2014
It also traces his days as a juvenile delinquent, and gradual rise up the R&B charts.‘Get On Up’ Star Chadwick Boseman on Becoming James Brown—With A Little Help From Mick Jagger
August 4, 2014
That sounds small, but the buildup of Hezbollah forces in Syria was gradual, too.Hezbollah’s Widening War Spreads to Iraq
August 1, 2014
From some other of the author's letters we are able to trace the gradual growth of the work.De Libris: Prose and Verse
The term immediate is used in contrast with that of gradual.The Works of Whittier, Volume VII (of VII)
John Greenleaf Whittier
Day by day he had followed the gradual failing of each sense and power.The Slave Of The Lamp
Henry Seton Merriman
This excellent woman expired of a gradual decay in the year 1780.Beaux and Belles of England
But the process was gradual, and no one stood near enough to her to remark it.Beauty and The Beast, and Tales From Home
- occurring, developing, moving, etc, in small stagesa gradual improvement in health
- not steep or abrupta gradual slope
- (often capital) Christianity
- an antiphon or group of several antiphons, usually from the Psalms, sung or recited immediately after the epistle at Mass
- a book of plainsong containing the words and music of the parts of the Mass that are sung by the cantors and choir
Word Origin and History for gradual
early 15c., "having steps or ridges," from Medieval Latin gradualis, from Latin gradus "step" (see grade). Meaning "arranged by degrees" is from 1540s; that of "taking place by degrees" is from 1690s.