- the rate of change with respect to distance of a variable quantity, as temperature or pressure, in the direction of maximum change.
- a curve representing such a rate of change.
Origin of gradient
Related Words for gradientacclivity, angle, incline, declivity, grade, tilt, rise, lean, slant, ramp, cant, hill, leaning, pitch, bank, inclination
Examples from the Web for gradient
Historical Examples of gradient
It may have been the gradient of the hills, but somehow her gait had lost something of its buoyancy.The Law-Breakers
The 'ways' sloped at a gradient of one foot in twelve, and had iron surfaces.Chatterbox, 1906
We march to our crises by a gradient, every step of which is a moral decision.My Daily Meditation for the Circling Year
John Henry Jowett
Their gradient is commonly greater than that of the present rivers.The Elements of Geology
William Harmon Norton
The gradient steepened, the snow was hard, and the axe was invoked.Hours of Exercise in the Alps
- (of a curve) the slope of the tangent at any point on a curve with respect to the horizontal axis
- (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 ∇ fCompare curl (def. 11), divergence (def. 4)