a degree or step in a scale, as of rank, advancement, quality, value, or intensity: the best grade of paper.
a class of persons or things of the same relative rank, quality, etc.
a step or stage in a course or process.
a single division of a school classified according to the age or progress of the pupils. In the U.S., public schools are commonly divided into twelve grades below college.
the pupils in such a division.
grades, elementary school (usually preceded by the ): He first began teaching in the grades.
a letter, number, or other symbol indicating the relative quality of a student's work in a course, examination, or special assignment; mark.
a classification or standard of food based on quality, size, etc.: grade A milk.
inclination with the horizontal of a road, railroad, etc., usually expressed by stating the vertical rise or fall as a percentage of the horizontal distance; slope.
Building Trades.. Also called grade line. the level at which the ground intersects the foundation of a building.
an animal resulting from a cross between a parent of ordinary stock and one of a pure breed.
Mathematics, grad2.
verb (used with object), graded, grading.
to arrange in a series of grades; class; sort: a machine that grades two thousand eggs per hour.
to determine the grade of.
to assign a grade to (a student's work); mark: I graded forty tests last night.
to cause to pass by degrees, as from one color or shade to another.
to reduce to a level or to practicable degrees of inclination: to grade a road.
to cross (an ordinary or low-grade animal) with an animal of a pure or superior breed.
verb (used without object), graded, grading.
to incline; slant or slope: The road grades steeply for a mile.
to be of a particular grade or quality.
to pass by degrees from one color or shade to another; blend: See how the various colors grade into one another.
Verb phrases
grade up, to improve (a herd, flock, etc.) by breeding with purebreds.
at grade,
on the same level: A railroad crosses a highway at grade.
(of a stream bed) so adjusted to conditions of slope and the volume and speed of water that no gain or loss of sediment takes place.
make the grade, to attain a specific goal; succeed: He'll never make the grade in medical school.
up to grade, of the desired or required quality: This shipment is not up to grade.

1505–15; < French: office < Latin gradus step, stage, degree, derivative of gradī to go, step, walk

misgrade, verb, misgraded, misgrading.
misgraded, adjective
multigrade, adjective
overgrade, verb (used with object), overgraded, overgrading.
pregrade, verb (used with object), pregraded, pregrading, noun
regrade, verb (used with object), regraded, regrading.
ungraded, adjective
well-graded, adjective

13. classify, rank, rate, order, categorize.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
grade (ɡreɪd)
1.  a position or degree in a scale, as of quality, rank, size, or progression: small-grade eggs; high-grade timber
2.  a group of people or things of the same category
3.  chiefly (US) a military or other rank
4.  a stage in a course of progression
5.  a mark or rating indicating achievement or the worth of work done, as at school
6.  (US), (Canadian) a unit of pupils of similar age or ability taught together at school
7.  (US), (Canadian)
 a.  a part of a railway, road, etc, that slopes upwards or downwards; inclination
 b.  Also called: gradient a measure of such a slope, esp the ratio of the vertical distance between two points on the slope to the horizontal distance between them
8.  a unit of angle equal to one hundredth of a right angle or 0.9 degree
9.  stockbreeding
 a.  an animal with one purebred parent and one of unknown or unimproved breeding
 b.  crossbred Compare purebred (as modifier): a grade sheep
10.  linguistics one of the forms of the vowel in a morpheme when this vowel varies because of gradation
11.  at grade
 a.  on the same level
 b.  (of a river profile or land surface) at an equilibrium level and slope, because there is a balance between erosion and deposition
12.  informal make the grade
 a.  to reach the required standard
 b.  to succeed
13.  (tr) to arrange according to quality, rank, etc
14.  (tr) to determine the grade of or assign a grade to
15.  (intr) to achieve or deserve a grade or rank
16.  to change or blend (something) gradually; merge
17.  (tr) to level (ground, a road, etc) to a suitable gradient
18.  (tr) stockbreeding to cross (one animal) with another to produce a grade animal
[C16: from French, from Latin gradus step, from gradī to step]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1511, from Fr. grade "grade, degree," from L. gradus "step, degree," replacing M.E. gree "step, degree in a series," from O.Fr. grei "step," from L. gradus, related to gradi "to walk, step, go," from PIE *ghredh- (cf. Lith. gridiju "to go, wander," O.C.S. gredo "to come," O.Ir. in-greinn "he pursues,"
and second element in congress, progress, etc.). The verb is 1659, from the noun. Railway sense is from 1835. Meaning "division of a school curriculum equivalent to one year" is from 1835; that of "letter-mark indicating assessment of a student's work" is from 1886.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
grade   (grād)  Pronunciation Key 
  1. The degree of inclination of a slope, road, or other surface.

  2. A grouping of organisms done purely on the basis of shared features and without regard to evolutionary relationships. Grades may include organisms that do not share a common ancestor, or may exclude some organisms having the same common ancestor as the other organisms in the grade. For this reason, many taxonomists do not accept grades as formal classifications. The class Reptilia (reptiles) is a grade since it includes dinosaurs but not birds, even though birds are descended from dinosaurs. Compare clade.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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