Definition of gradation in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɡrāˈdāSH(ə)n/


1A scale or a series of successive changes, stages, or degrees: within the woodpecker family, there is a gradation of drilling ability
More example sentences
  • We found a gradation in the degree to which females selected the leader.
  • In that context the Policy provides, in my view, a clear gradation of provision.
  • These fossils constitute a gradation between Neandertals and modern humans, demonstrating that the distinction made by evolutionists is an artificial one.
range, scale, spectrum, span;
progression, hierarchy, ladder, pecking order
1.1A stage or change in a series of successive degrees: minute gradations of distance
More example sentences
  • However, not everyone knows there are two categories of shot, with two distinct size gradations.
  • The second meaning indicates gradations of quantity on thermometers or measuring cups.
  • The main structure of caste remains intact with its mutually exclusive communities, its carefully regulated gradations of rank, and the ban on intermarriage which prevents any fusion of classes.
level, grade, rank, position, status, stage, standard, echelon, rung, step, notch;
1.2A minute change from one shade, tone, or color to another: amorphous shapes in subtle gradations of green and blue
More example sentences
  • His pictures are largely based on brown or grey schemes illuminated with vivid touches of colour, and are notable for their very subtle gradations of tone.
  • Chemical photography can capture many more subtleties and gradations of colour and shade than digital.
  • It can be controlled so as to give large areas of flat colour, delicate gradations, or a fine mist.
1.3 (in historical linguistics) another term for ablaut.



Pronunciation: /ɡrāˈdāSH(ə)n(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • Brain size does seem to show a gradational increase throughout the hominin lineage, especially when body size is taken into account.
  • Many people, for example, use a basically gradational concept of class to examine the different political attitudes and voting behaviors of the poor, the middle class, and the rich.
  • However, larger collections may show that these features are gradational and not of specific validity.


Pronunciation: /-SHənl-ē/


Mid 16th century: from Latin gradatio(n-), based on gradus 'step'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: gra·da·tion

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