degree


degree
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 GRADE (Cf. grade)). Most modern senses date from M.E., from notion of a hierarchy of steps. Meaning "a grade of crime" is 1670s; that of "a unit of temperature" is from 1727. The division of the circle into 360 degrees was known in Babylon and Egypt. It is perhaps from the daily motion of the sun through the zodiac in the course of a year.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • 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 — ► NOUN 1) the amount, level, or extent to which something happens or is present. 2) a unit of measurement of angles, equivalent to one ninetieth of a right angle. 3) a unit in a scale of temperature, intensity, hardness, etc. 4) an academic rank… …   English terms dictionary

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

  • degree — of freedom degree of polymerization …   Mechanics glossary

  • degree — [n1] unit of measurement amount, amplitude, caliber, dimension, division, expanse, extent, gauge, gradation, grade, height, intensity, interval, length, limit, line, link, mark, notch, period, plane, point, proportion, quality, quantity, range,… …   New thesaurus

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