[ greyd ]
See synonyms for: gradegradedgradesgrading on

  1. a degree or step in a scale, as of rank, advancement, quality, value, or intensity: the best grade of paper.

  2. a class of persons or things of the same relative rank, quality, etc.

  1. a step or stage in a course or process.

  2. a single division of a school classified according to the age or progress of the pupils. In the U.S., public schools are commonly divided into twelve grades below college.

  3. the pupils in such a division.

  4. (the) grades. elementary school: He first began teaching in the grades.

  5. a letter, number, or other symbol indicating the relative quality of a student's work in a course, examination, or special assignment; mark.

  6. a classification or standard of food based on quality, size, etc.: grade A milk.

  7. inclination with the horizontal of a road, railroad, etc., usually expressed by stating the vertical rise or fall as a percentage of the horizontal distance; slope.

  8. Building Trades.Also called grade line. the level at which the ground intersects the foundation of a building.

  9. an animal resulting from a cross between a parent of ordinary stock and one of a pure breed.

  10. Mathematics. grad2.

verb (used with object),grad·ed, grad·ing.
  1. to arrange in a series of grades; class; sort: a machine that grades two thousand eggs per hour.

  2. to determine the grade of.

  1. to assign a grade to (a student's work); mark: I graded forty tests last night.

  2. to cause to pass by degrees, as from one color or shade to another.

  3. to reduce to a level or to practicable degrees of inclination: to grade a road.

  4. to cross (an ordinary or low-grade animal) with an animal of a pure or superior breed.

verb (used without object),grad·ed, grad·ing.
  1. to incline; slant or slope: The road grades steeply for a mile.

  2. to be of a particular grade or quality.

  1. to pass by degrees from one color or shade to another; blend: See how the various colors grade into one another.

Verb Phrases
  1. grade up, to improve (a herd, flock, etc.) by breeding with purebreds.

Idioms about grade

  1. at grade,

    • on the same level: A railroad crosses a highway at grade.

    • (of a stream bed) so adjusted to conditions of slope and the volume and speed of water that no gain or loss of sediment takes place.

  2. make the grade, to attain a specific goal; succeed: He'll never make the grade in medical school.

  1. up to grade, of the desired or required quality: This shipment is not up to grade.

Origin of grade

First recorded in 1505–15; from French: “office,” from Latin gradus “step, stage, degree,” derivative of gradī “to go, step, walk”

Other words for grade

Other words from grade

  • mis·grade, verb, mis·grad·ed, mis·grad·ing.
  • mis·grad·ed, adjective
  • mul·ti·grade, adjective
  • o·ver·grade, verb (used with object), o·ver·grad·ed, o·ver·grad·ing.
  • pre·grade, verb (used with object), pre·grad·ed, pre·grad·ing, noun
  • re·grade, verb (used with object), re·grad·ed, re·grad·ing.
  • un·grad·ed, adjective
  • well-graded, adjective

Other definitions for -grade (2 of 2)


  1. a combining form meaning “walking, moving,” in the manner or by the means specified by the initial element: plantigrade.

Origin of -grade

<Latin -gradus, combining form representing gradus step or gradī to walk. See grade, gradient Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use grade in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for grade (1 of 2)


/ (ɡreɪd) /

  1. a position or degree in a scale, as of quality, rank, size, or progression: small-grade eggs; high-grade timber

  2. a group of people or things of the same category

  1. mainly US a military or other rank

  2. a stage in a course of progression

  3. a mark or rating indicating achievement or the worth of work done, as at school

  4. US and Canadian a unit of pupils of similar age or ability taught together at school

  5. US and Canadian

    • a part of a railway, road, etc, that slopes upwards or downwards; inclination

    • Also called: gradient a measure of such a slope, esp the ratio of the vertical distance between two points on the slope to the horizontal distance between them

  6. a unit of angle equal to one hundredth of a right angle or 0.9 degree

  7. stockbreeding

  8. linguistics one of the forms of the vowel in a morpheme when this vowel varies because of gradation

  9. at grade

    • on the same level

    • (of a river profile or land surface) at an equilibrium level and slope, because there is a balance between erosion and deposition

  10. make the grade informal

    • to reach the required standard

    • to succeed

  1. (tr) to arrange according to quality, rank, etc

  2. (tr) to determine the grade of or assign a grade to

  1. (intr) to achieve or deserve a grade or rank

  2. to change or blend (something) gradually; merge

  3. (tr) to level (ground, a road, etc) to a suitable gradient

  4. (tr) stockbreeding to cross (one animal) with another to produce a grade animal

Origin of grade

C16: from French, from Latin gradus step, from gradī to step

British Dictionary definitions for -grade (2 of 2)


adj combining form
  1. indicating a kind or manner of movement or progression: plantigrade; retrograde

Origin of -grade

via French from Latin -gradus, from gradus a step, from gradī to walk

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Scientific definitions for grade


[ grād ]

  1. The degree of inclination of a slope, road, or other surface.

  2. A grouping of organisms done purely on the basis of shared features and without regard to evolutionary relationships. Grades may include organisms that do not share a common ancestor, or may exclude some organisms having the same common ancestor as the other organisms in the grade. For this reason, many taxonomists do not accept grades as formal classifications. The class Reptilia (reptiles) is a grade since it includes dinosaurs but not birds, even though birds are descended from dinosaurs. Compare clade.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other Idioms and Phrases with grade


see make the grade.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.