1 a stage in an ascending or descending scale, series, or process.
2 a stage in intensity or amount (to a high degree; in some degree).
3 relative condition (each is good in its degree).
4 Math. a unit of measurement of angles, one-ninetieth of a right angle or the angle subtended by one-three-hundred-and-sixtieth of the circumference of a circle.
Symb.: ° (as in 45°).
5 Physics a unit in a scale of temperature, hardness, etc.
Abbr.: deg. (or omitted in the Kelvin scale of temperature).
6 Med. an extent of burns on a scale characterized by the destruction of the skin.
7 an academic rank conferred by a college or university after examination or after completion of a course, or conferred as an honour on a distinguished person.
8 a grade of crime or criminality (murder in the first degree).
9 a step in direct genealogical descent.
10 social or official rank.
11 Math. the highest power of unknowns or variables in an equation etc. (equation of the third degree).
12 a masonic rank.
13 a thing placed like a step in a series; a tier or row.
14 Mus. the classification of a note by its position in the scale.
Phrases and idioms:
by degrees a little at a time; gradually. degree of freedom 1 Physics the independent direction in which motion can occur.
2 Chem. the number of independent factors required to specify a system at equilibrium.
3 Statistics the number of independent values or quantities which can be assigned to a statistical distribution. degrees of comparison see COMPARISON. forbidden (or prohibited) degrees a number of degrees of descent too few to allow of marriage between two related persons. to a degree colloq. considerably.
degreeless adj.
Etymology: ME f. OF degreacute f. Rmc (as DE-, L gradus step)

Useful english dictionary. 2012.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Degree — may refer to: Contents 1 As a unit of measurement 2 In mathematics 3 In education …   Wikipedia

  • 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,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • degree — de·gree n 1: a step in a direct line of descent or in the line of ascent to a common ancestor 2 a: a measure of the seriousness of a crime see also fifth degree, first degree, f …   Law dictionary

  • degree — [di grē′] n. [ME degre < OFr degré, degree, step, rank < VL * degradus < degradare: see DEGRADE] 1. any of the successive steps or stages in a process or series 2. a step in the direct line of descent [a cousin in the second degree] 3.… …   English World dictionary

  • degree — In Sheridan s The Rivals (1775), we find the assertion Assuredly, sir, your father is wrath to a degree, meaning ‘your father is extremely cross’. The use survived in more florid English into the 20c and was accepted by Fowler (1926) ‘however… …   Modern English usage

  • degree — early 13c., from O.Fr. degré (12c.) a step (of a stair), pace, degree (of relationship), academic degree; rank, status, position, said to be from V.L. *degradus a step, from L.L. degredare, from L. de down (see DE (Cf. de )) + gradus step (see… …   Etymology dictionary

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  • dégréé — dégréé, ée (dé gré é, ée) part. passé. Un vaisseau dégréé …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

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  • degree — noun 1 measurement of angles VERB + DEGREE ▪ rotate, spin, turn ▪ I turned the wheel 90 degrees, PREPOSITION ▪ through … degrees ▪ …   Collocations dictionary