Definition of gradation in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɡrəˈdeɪʃ(ə)n/


1A scale or series of successive changes, stages, or degrees: the Act fails to provide both a clear and defensible gradation of offences
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, gamut, spectrum, sweep, compass, span;
progression, sequence, succession, series;
1.1An individual stage within a succession of changes, stages, or degrees: gradations of size
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, rank, position, standing, status, station, degree, grade, stage, standard, echelon, rung, point, mark, step, notch;
class, stratum, group, grouping, set, classification
1.2A minute variation in shade, tone, or colour: 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.
2 (in historical linguistics) another term for ablaut.



Pronunciation: /ɡrəˈdeɪʃən(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.




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

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: grad|ation

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