any process or change taking place through a series of stages, by degrees, or in a gradual manner.
a stage, degree, or grade in such a series.
- gra·da·tion·al, adjective
- gra·da·tion·al·ly, adverb
- re·gra·da·tion, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use gradation in a sentence
In this mood, Democrats may care a lot more about toughness and combativeness than about minute gradations of progressiveness.How Obama is Setting the Stage for Hillary in 2016 | David Frum | September 15, 2013 | THE DAILY BEAST
The gradations are fully observed; each shade is accurately distinguished.A Philosophical Dictionary, Volume 1 (of 10) | Franois-Marie Arouet (AKA Voltaire)
There are many gradations of dirt and various degrees of saturation from salt water, but this combination is unapproachable.Yachting Vol. 2 | Various.
Latin words have a place; they express the finer distinctions and gradations of thought.English: Composition and Literature | W. F. (William Franklin) Webster
The next visit he was not quite so forbearing, yet still forbearing; and so on by sly gradations.It Is Never Too Late to Mend | Charles Reade
They vary exceedingly in colour, and pass through the intermediate gradations from a dark brown to a pale fulvous, and a grayish.
British Dictionary definitions for gradation
a series of systematic stages; gradual progression
(often plural) a stage or degree in such a series or progression
the act or process of arranging or forming in stages, grades, etc, or of progressing evenly
(in painting, drawing, or sculpture) transition from one colour, tone, or surface to another through a series of very slight changes
linguistics any change in the quality or length of a vowel within a word indicating certain distinctions, such as inflectional or tense differentiations: See ablaut
geology the natural levelling of land as a result of the building up or wearing down of pre-existing formations
- gradational, adjective
- gradationally, adverb
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 gradation
The process by which land is leveled off through erosion or the transportation or deposition of sediments, especially the process by which a riverbed is brought to a level where it is just able to transport the amount of sediment delivered to it.
The proportion of particles (such as sand grains) of a given size within a sample of particulate material, such as soil or sandstone.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.