- 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 for gradual on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for gradually
The Butterbrief, issued by Pope Innocent VIII, was a turning point for the then bland Stollen, which gradually became sweeter.One Cake to Rule Them All: How Stollen Stole Our Hearts
December 24, 2014
In the last few years, however, Spahn gradually began to notice changes in Ruby Pearl.Gay Talese on Charlie Manson’s Home on the Range
October 31, 2014
The email exchanges started out as cordial, if cold, but gradually grew more confrontational.The Kardashian Look-Alike Trolling for Assad
Noah Shachtman, Michael Kennedy
October 17, 2014
Even as President Obama has avoided getting the military more involved in Iraq, the mission has gradually expanded.Are American Troops Already Fighting on the Front Lines in Iraq?
September 2, 2014
New Orleanians loved the frilly, pale lavender flowers and gradually planted them as decorations around the city in garden ponds.Lake Bacon: The Story of The Man Who Wanted Us to Eat Mississippi Hippos
August 10, 2014
These gradually died away in the distance, and were heard no more.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
But the tidings were gradually breaking in upon the mind of Andrew Lanning.Way of the Lawless
Gradually the image of the middle-aged Robin had effaced his youth.Life and Death of Harriett Frean
Gradually the older girls saw that she would not save herself.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
When they approached the entrance to the canyon, gradually Linda slowed down.Her Father's Daughter
- 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 gradually
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.