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gradation

[grey-dey-shuh n] /greɪˈdeɪ ʃən/
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.
5.
6.
Geology. the leveling of a land surface, resulting from the concerted action of erosion and deposition.
Origin
1530-1540
1530-40; < Latin gradātiōn- (stem of gradātiō). See grade, -ation
Related forms
gradational, adjective
gradationally, adverb
regradation, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for gradations
  • Lily lives in a world of fine gradations and unresolved ambiguities.
  • These gradations might reflect different tastes: brothel workers tend to be younger, more attractive and better educated.
  • Without the smoother gradations accommodated by more mature free market economies, this kind of negative impact is unavoidable.
  • These gradations of secrecy or privacy permit the illusion that you can say something you wouldn't say to the whole world.
  • But when there are infinite gradations between, we're going to find our place somewhere in the middle.
  • There are significant gradations within those ranges.
  • Political positions have rabidly repolarized, and gradations of opinion have vanished.
  • Shot and projected digitally instead of on film, the picture gains in gradations of night shades but loses in visual clarity.
  • So closely do the gradations of culture dovetail into one another.
  • The old-fashioned dial, with infinite gradations, allowed the user to turn to the exact volume desired.
British Dictionary definitions for gradations

gradation

/ɡrəˈdeɪʃən/
noun
1.
a series of systematic stages; gradual progression
2.
(often pl) 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) any change in the quality or length of a vowel within a word indicating certain distinctions, such as inflectional or tense differentiations See ablaut
6.
(geology) the natural levelling of land as a result of the building up or wearing down of pre-existing formations
Derived Forms
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
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Word Origin and History for gradations

gradation

n.

1530s, "climax," from Middle French gradation (16c.) and directly from Latin gradationem (nominative gradatio) "ascent by steps, a climax," noun of action from gradus "step, degree" (see grade). Meaning "gradual change" is from 1540s. Related: Gradational.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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gradations in Science
gradation
  (grā-dā'shən)   
  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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