gradual

[graj-oo-uhl]
adjective
1.
taking place, changing, moving, etc., by small degrees or little by little: gradual improvement in health.
2.
rising or descending at an even, moderate inclination: a gradual slope.
noun
3.
Ecclesiastical, (often initial capital letter)
a.
an antiphon sung between the Epistle and the Gospel in the Eucharistic service.
b.
a book containing the words and music of the parts of the liturgy that are sung by the choir.

Origin:
1375–1425; late Middle English < Medieval Latin graduālis pertaining to steps, graduāle the part of the service sung as the choir stood on the altar steps, equivalent to Latin gradu(s) step, grade + -ālis -al1

gradually, adverb
gradualness, noun
ungradual, adjective
ungradually, adverb


1. See slow. 2. gentle.


1. sudden. 2. precipitous.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
gradual (ˈɡrædjʊəl)
 
adj
1.  occurring, developing, moving, etc, in small stages: a gradual improvement in health
2.  not steep or abrupt: a gradual slope
 
n
3.  (often capital) Christianity
 a.  an antiphon or group of several antiphons, usually from the Psalms, sung or recited immediately after the epistle at Mass
 b.  a book of plainsong containing the words and music of the parts of the Mass that are sung by the cantors and choir
 
[C16: from Medieval Latin graduālis relating to steps, from Latin gradus a step]
 
'gradually
 
adv
 
'gradualness
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

gradual
1540s, from M.L. gradualis, from L. gradus "step" (see grade).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
When demand was growing more slowly, farmers could meet it through gradual
  improvements in their yields.
These require only gradual change and pretty much retain the status quo.
However, gradual political reform is the best solution.
Guided practice using the strategy with gradual release of responsibility.
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