gradation

[grey-dey-shuhn]
noun
1.
any process or change taking place through a series of stages, by degrees, or in a gradual manner.
2.
a stage, degree, or grade in such a series.
3.
the passing of one tint or shade of color to another, or one surface to another, by very small degrees, as in painting or sculpture.
4.
the act of grading.
6.
Geology. the leveling of a land surface, resulting from the concerted action of erosion and deposition.

Origin:
1530–40; < Latin gradātiōn- (stem of gradātiō). See grade, -ation

gradational, adjective
gradationally, adverb
regradation, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
gradation (ɡrəˈdeɪʃən)
 
n
1.  a series of systematic stages; gradual progression
2.  (often plural) a stage or degree in such a series or progression
3.  the act or process of arranging or forming in stages, grades, etc, or of progressing evenly
4.  (in painting, drawing, or sculpture) transition from one colour, tone, or surface to another through a series of very slight changes
5.  linguistics See ablaut any change in the quality or length of a vowel within a word indicating certain distinctions, such as inflectional or tense differentiations
6.  geology the natural levelling of land as a result of the building up or wearing down of pre-existing formations
 
gra'dational
 
adj
 
gra'dationally
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

gradation
1538, from L. gradationem (nom. gradatio) "ascent by steps, climax," from gradus "step, degree" (see grade).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
gradation   (grā-dā'shən)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. 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.

  2. 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 © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
The only illusion, if it could be called that, comes from the fact that there is a gradation.
There tends to be a gradation of these water sorted granules.
Within this narrow space, there is also a decided gradation of holiday tempo.
Tiny dye clouds form layers on the finished negative that reproduce with exceptional sharpness and gradation.
Image for gradation
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