—n. 1. a degree or step in a scale, as of rank, advancement, quality, value, or intensity: the best grade of paper. 2. a class of persons or things of the same relative rank, quality, etc.
3. a step or stage in a course or process.
4. a single division of a school classified according to the age or progress of the pupils. In the U.S., public schools are commonly divided into twelve grades below college.
5. the pupils in such a division.
6. grades,elementary school (usually prec. by the): He first began teaching in the grades. 7. a letter, number, or other symbol indicating the relative quality of a student's work in a course, examination, or special assignment; mark.
8. a classification or standard of food based on quality, size, etc.: grade A milk. 9. inclination with the horizontal of a road, railroad, etc., usually expressed by stating the vertical rise or fall as a percentage of the horizontal distance; slope.
10. Building Trades.Also called grade line. the level at which the ground intersects the foundation of a building.
11. an animal resulting from a cross between a parent of ordinary stock and one of a pure breed.
13. at grade, a. on the same level: A railroad crosses a highway at grade. b. (of a stream bed) so adjusted to conditions of slope and the volume and speed of water that no gain or loss of sediment takes place.
14. make the grade, to attain a specific goal; succeed: He'll never make the grade in medical school. 15. up to grade, of the desired or required quality: This shipment is not up to grade.
—v.t. 1. to arrange in a series of grades; class; sort: a machine that grades two thousand eggs per hour. 2. to determine the grade of.
3. to assign a grade to (a student's work); mark: I graded forty tests last night. 4. to cause to pass by degrees, as from one color or shade to another.
5. to reduce to a level or to practicable degrees of inclination: to grade a road. 6. to cross (an ordinary or low-grade animal) with an animal of a pure or superior breed.
—v.i. 1. to incline; slant or slope: The road grades steeply for a mile. 2. to be of a particular grade or quality.
3. to pass by degrees from one color or shade to another; blend: See how the various colors grade into one another. 4. grade up, to improve (a herd, flock, etc.) by breeding with purebreds.
a combining form meaning “walking, moving,” in the manner or by the means specified by the initial element: plantigrade.