Definition of gradient in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɡrādēənt/


1An inclined part of a road or railway; a slope: fail-safe brakes for use on steep gradients
More example sentences
  • By following the ridge of the city's hills, it provides tolerable gradients and avoids steep inclines, which proliferate in the city's side streets.
  • Road sections which included steep gradients, major drainage structures and thick chip seal surface layers were normally excluded.
  • For traffic driving east, the road descends down a gradient of 0.023 through a wooded area with trees overhanging the road on both sides.
1.1The degree of a slope: the path becomes very rough as the gradient increases
More example sentences
  • The lower 150m section has a gentle gradient of 12 degrees providing an ample and safe area to test out those first turns.
  • Therefore if Cross-rail precedes electrification, then diesel units would be used for cross-city services which would easily negotiate the gradients and angles.
  • It had a gradient of about 45 degrees and was strewn with loose rocks and boulders.
1.2 Mathematics The degree of steepness of a graph at any point.
Example sentences
  • The abrupt changes in gradient visible in the graph are caused when the number of relevant genetic backgrounds i max changes from one integer value to the next.
  • Differentiation is a method of working out the gradient of a curve - how quickly one variable changes with respect to another.
  • In a moment we will demonstrate what the gradient of the curve at a point is, by examining a limiting argument.
2 Physics An increase or decrease in the magnitude of a property (e.g., temperature, pressure, or concentration) observed in passing from one point or moment to another.
Example sentences
  • Distinct gradients in pressure were observed throughout the contact area.
  • We observed a gradient in the depth of the selective sweep, which becomes progressively deeper as you get nearer to the gene.
  • I assure you, however, I have accurately mapped the topological surface density and transitional energy gradients of the timeline in question.
2.1The rate of a gradient change.
2.2 Mathematics The vector formed by the operatoracting on a scalar function at a given point in a scalar field.


Mid 19th century: from grade, on the pattern of salient.

Words that rhyme with gradient

irradiant, radiant

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: gra·di·ent

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