master of arts
Degree De*gree", n. [F. degr['e], OF. degret, fr. LL. degradare. See {Degrade}.] 1. A step, stair, or staircase. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

By ladders, or else by degree. --Rom. of R. [1913 Webster]

2. One of a series of progressive steps upward or downward, in quality, rank, acquirement, and the like; a stage in progression; grade; gradation; as, degrees of vice and virtue; to advance by slow degrees; degree of comparison. [1913 Webster]

3. The point or step of progression to which a person has arrived; rank or station in life; position. ``A dame of high degree.'' --Dryden. ``A knight is your degree.'' --Shak. ``Lord or lady of high degree.'' --Lowell. [1913 Webster]

4. Measure of advancement; quality; extent; as, tastes differ in kind as well as in degree. [1913 Webster]

The degree of excellence which proclaims genius, is different in different times and different places. --Sir. J. Reynolds. [1913 Webster]

5. Grade or rank to which scholars are admitted by a college or university, in recognition of their attainments; also, (informal) the diploma provided by an educational institution attesting to the achievement of that rank; as, the degree of bachelor of arts, master, doctor, etc.; to hang one's degrees on the office wall. [1913 Webster +PJC]

Note: In the United States diplomas are usually given as the evidence of a degree conferred. In the humanities the first degree is that of {bachelor of arts} (B. A. or A. B.); the second that of {master of arts} (M. A. or A. M.). The degree of bachelor (of arts, science, divinity, law, etc.) is conferred upon those who complete a prescribed course of undergraduate study. The first degree in medicine is that of {doctor of medicine} (M. D.). The degrees of master and doctor are also conferred, in course, upon those who have completed certain prescribed postgraduate studies, as {doctor of philosophy} (Ph. D.); the degree of doctor is also conferred as a complimentary recognition of eminent services in science or letters, or for public services or distinction (as {doctor of laws} (LL. D.) or {doctor of divinity} (D. D.), when they are called {honorary degrees}. [1913 Webster]

The youth attained his bachelor's degree, and left the university. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

6. (Genealogy) A certain distance or remove in the line of descent, determining the proximity of blood; one remove in the chain of relationship; as, a relation in the third or fourth degree. [1913 Webster]

In the 11th century an opinion began to gain ground in Italy, that third cousins might marry, being in the seventh degree according to the civil law. --Hallam. [1913 Webster]

7. (Arith.) Three figures taken together in numeration; thus, 140 is one degree, 222,140 two degrees. [1913 Webster]

8. (Algebra) State as indicated by sum of exponents; more particularly, the degree of a term is indicated by the sum of the exponents of its literal factors; thus, a^{2}b^{3}c is a term of the sixth degree. The degree of a power, or radical, is denoted by its index, that of an equation by the greatest sum of the exponents of the unknown quantities in any term; thus, ax^{4} + bx^{2} = c, and mx^{2}y^{2} + nyx = p, are both equations of the fourth degree. [1913 Webster]

9. (Trig.) A 360th part of the circumference of a circle, which part is taken as the principal unit of measure for arcs and angles. The degree is divided into 60 minutes and the minute into 60 seconds. [1913 Webster]

10. A division, space, or interval, marked on a mathematical or other instrument, as on a thermometer.

11. (Mus.) A line or space of the staff. [1913 Webster]

Note: The short lines and their spaces are added degrees. [1913 Webster]

{Accumulation of degrees}. (Eng. Univ.) See under {Accumulation}.

{By degrees}, step by step; by little and little; by moderate advances. ``I'll leave it by degrees.'' --Shak.

{Degree of a curve} or {Degree of a surface} (Geom.), the number which expresses the degree of the equation of the curve or surface in rectilinear co["o]rdinates. A straight line will, in general, meet the curve or surface in a number of points equal to the degree of the curve or surface and no more.

{Degree of latitude} (Geog.), on the earth, the distance on a meridian between two parallels of latitude whose latitudes differ from each other by one degree. This distance is not the same on different parts of a meridian, on account of the flattened figure of the earth, being 68.702 statute miles at the equator, and 69.396 at the poles.

{Degree of longitude}, the distance on a parallel of latitude between two meridians that make an angle of one degree with each other at the poles -- a distance which varies as the cosine of the latitude, being at the equator 69.16 statute miles.

{To a degree}, to an extreme; exceedingly; as, mendacious to a degree. [1913 Webster]

It has been said that Scotsmen . . . are . . . grave to a degree on occasions when races more favored by nature are gladsome to excess. --Prof. Wilson. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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  • Master of arts — Master Mas ter (m[.a]s t[ e]r), n. [OE. maistre, maister, OF. maistre, mestre, F. ma[^i]tre, fr. L. magister, orig. a double comparative from the root of magnus great, akin to Gr. me gas. Cf. {Maestro}, {Magister}, {Magistrate}, {Magnitude},… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Master of Arts — For other uses, see Master of Arts (disambiguation). A Master of Arts (M.A., MA, A.M., or AM) from the Latin Magister Artium, is a type of Master s degree awarded by universities in many countries. The M.A. is usually contrasted with the M.S. or… …   Wikipedia

  • master of arts — Usage: often capitalized M&A Date: 15th century 1. the recipient of a master s degree that usually signifies that the recipient has passed an integrated course of study in one or more of the humanities and sometimes has completed a thesis… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Master of Arts (postgraduate) — For other uses, see Master of Arts (disambiguation). A Master of Arts (M.A., MA, A.M., or AM) from the Latin Magister Artium, is a type of Master s degree awarded by universities in many countries. The M.A. is usually contrasted with the M.S. or… …   Wikipedia

  • Master of Arts (Oxbridge and Dublin) — For other uses, see Master of Arts (disambiguation). In the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Dublin, Bachelors of Arts of these universities are admitted to the degree of Master of Arts or Master in Arts (MA) on application after six or… …   Wikipedia

  • Master of Arts (Scotland) — For other uses, see Master of Arts (disambiguation). A Master of Arts in Scotland can refer to an undergraduate academic degree in humanities and social sciences awarded by the ancient universities of Scotland – the University of St Andrews, the… …   Wikipedia

  • Master of Arts in Liberal Studies — In 2005, Georgetown University became the first institution to offer a doctorate in liberal studies. The Doctorate is offered jointly by the School of Continuing Studies and the Graduate School at Georgetown The Master of Arts in Liberal Studies… …   Wikipedia

  • Master of Arts in Practical Theology — The Master of Arts in Practical Theology degree ( M.A.P.T. ) is an advanced theological degree at the graduate level designed to prepare students for careers in Christian ministry.cite web last =Miranda first = Dr. Elsie (Program Director)… …   Wikipedia

  • Master of Arts in Teaching — For other uses, see MAT (disambiguation). The Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) degree is generally a pre service degree that usually requires a minimum of 30 semester hours beyond the Bachelor s degree. While the program often requires education… …   Wikipedia

  • Master of Arts in Christian Studies — The Master of Arts in Christian Studies degree program is designed for church leaders and other working professional men and women desiring a deeper knowledge of God, the Scriptures, and the Christian faith. The program helps graduates understand …   Wikipedia

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