[ grey-dee-uhnt ]

noun

1. the degree of inclination, or the rate of ascent or descent, in a highway, railroad, etc.
2. an inclined surface; grade; ramp.
3. Physics.
1. the rate of change with respect to distance of a variable quantity, as temperature or pressure, in the direction of maximum change.
2. a curve representing such a rate of change.
4. Mathematics. a differential operator that, operating upon a function of several variables, results in a vector the coordinates of which are the partial derivatives of the function. : grad. :

1. rising or descending by regular degrees of inclination.
2. progressing by walking; stepping with the feet as animals do.
3. of a type suitable for walking or running, as the feet of certain birds; gressorial.

/ ˈɡreɪdɪənt /

noun

1. Also called (esp US)grade a part of a railway, road, etc, that slopes upwards or downwards; inclination
2. Also called (esp US and Canadian)grade 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
3. physics a measure of the change of some physical quantity, such as temperature or electric potential, over a specified distance
4. maths
1. (of a curve) the slope of the tangent at any point on a curve with respect to the horizontal axis
2. (of a function, f ( x, y, z )) the vector whose components along the axes are the partial derivatives of the function with respect to each variable, and whose direction is that in which the derivative of the function has its maximum value. Usually written: grad f , ∇ f or ∇ f Compare curl divergence
“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

1. sloping uniformly
“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

/ grādē-ənt /

1. The degree to which something inclines; a slope. A mountain road with a gradient of ten percent rises one foot for every ten feet of horizontal length.
2. The rate at which a physical quantity, such as temperature or pressure changes over a distance.
3. A operator on scalar fields yielding a vector function, where the value of the vector evaluated at any point indicates the direction and degree of change of the field at that point.

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Word History and Origins

1635–45; < Latin gradient- (stem of gradiēns ), present participle of gradī to walk, go, equivalent to grad- walk + -i- thematic vowel + -ent- -ent
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Example Sentences

Inside the liner laid the Lip Maestro Liquid Lipstick in 105, followed by the Lip Maestro Liquid Lipstick in 103 for a gradient appeal.

The resulting gradient from alkaline to more acidic water is like the difference between the positive and negative ends of a battery and can serve as an energy source for chemical activity.

This difference, or gradient, makes a positive charge build up on one side of the “wires” and a negative charge on the other.

There’s a wide gradient up to dry enough to burn explosively.

Based on these gradients of information flow, the Santa Fe team distinguishes three types of individuality.

Its largest tributary, North Caney Creek, has a gradient of 15.5 feet per mile.

At five and a half miles the brow of the main rise was reached, and the gradient became much flatter beyond it.

Both sledges ran easily for nearly a mile over neve, when the gradient increased to one in ten, forcing us to relay.

This ridge had a gradient of one in ten, and, unfortunately, also sloped down towards one of the open crevasses.

This is really the driving wheel by which it slowly moves up the steep gradient.