Etymology: Latin gradus step, degree, from Latin gradi to step, go; akin to Lithuanian gridyti to go, wander
(1) a position in a scale of ranks or qualities
(2) a stage in a process
b. a degree of severity in illness <grade III carcinoma> c. a class organized for the work of a particular year of a school course d. a military or naval rank 2. a. a class of things of the same stage or degree b. a mark indicating a degree of accomplishment in school c. a standard of food quality 3. a. the degree of inclination of a road or slope; also a sloping road b. a datum or reference level; especially ground level 4. a domestic animal with one parent purebred and the other of inferior breeding 5. plural the elementary school system • gradeless adjective II. verb (graded; grading) Date: 1659 transitive verb 1. a. to arrange in grades ; sort b. to arrange in a scale or series c. to assign to a grade or assign a grade to 2. to level off to a smooth horizontal or sloping surface intransitive verb 1. a. to form a series b. blend 2. to be of a particular grade • gradable adjective III. adjective Date: 1852 being, involving, or yielding domestic animals of improved but not pure stock <grade ewes> <grade breeding>
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.