What does gradual mean?

Definitions for gradual
ˈgrædʒ u əlgrad·u·al

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word gradual.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. gradualadjective

    (Roman Catholic Church) an antiphon (usually from the Book of Psalms) immediately after the epistle at Mass

  2. gradualadjective

    proceeding in small stages

    "a gradual increase in prices"

  3. gradualadjective

    (of a topographical gradient) not steep or abrupt

    "a gradual slope"


  1. gradualnoun

    An antiphon or responsory after the epistle, in the Mass, which was sung on the steps, or while the deacon ascended the steps.

  2. gradualnoun

    A service book containing the musical portions of the Mass.

  3. gradualadjective

    Proceeding by steps or small degrees; advancing step by step, as in ascent or descent or from one state to another; regularly progressive; slow; as, a gradual increase of knowledge; a gradual decline.

  4. Etymology: From gradualis, from gradus, from gʰradʰ-. Cognate with 03320342033903380343, Gritt.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. GRADUALadjective

    Proceeding by degrees; advancing step by step; from one stage to another.

    Etymology: graduel, French.

    Nobler birth
    Of creatures animate with gradual life,
    Of growth, sense, reason, all summ’d up in man. John Milton.

    Men still suppose a gradual natural progress of things; as that, from great, things and persons should grow greater, ’till at length, by many steps and ascents, they come to be at greatest. South.

  2. Gradualnoun

    An order of steps.

    Etymology: gradus, Latin.

    Before the gradual prostrate they ador’d,
    The pavement kiss’d, and thus the saint implor’d. Dryden.


  1. gradual

    Gradual refers to something that happens slowly, in small incremental stages, or with subtle or nearly imperceptible changes over time. It can refer to processes, changes, or movements that are not abrupt or sudden.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Gradualnoun

    proceeding by steps or degrees; advancing, step by step, as in ascent or descent or from one state to another; regularly progressive; slow; as, a gradual increase of knowledge; a gradual decline

  2. Gradualnoun

    an antiphon or responsory after the epistle, in the Mass, which was sung on the steps, or while the deacon ascended the steps

  3. Gradualnoun

    a service book containing the musical portions of the Mass

  4. Gradualnoun

    a series of steps

  5. Etymology: [LL. graduale a gradual (in sense 1), fr. L. gradus step: cf. F. graduel. See Grade, and cf. Grail a gradual.]


  1. Gradual

    The Gradual is a chant or hymn in the liturgical celebration of the Eucharist for many Christian denominations. In the Tridentine Mass it was and is sung after the reading or chanting of the Epistle and before the Alleluia, or, during penitential seasons, before the Tract. In the Mass of Paul VI the gradual corresponds to the Responsorial Psalm. There is the option to replace this psalm with the gradual, but its use is extremely rare. It is part of the Proper of the Mass. Gradual can also refer to a book collecting all the musical items of the Mass. The official such book for the Roman Rite is the Roman Gradual. Other such books include the Dominican Gradual.

British National Corpus

  1. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'gradual' in Adjectives Frequency: #994

How to pronounce gradual?

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of gradual in Chaldean Numerology is: 2

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of gradual in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of gradual in a Sentence

  1. Med Jones:

    There is an undercurrent of cultural changes in the Middle East region driven by the globalization of media and the Internet. Smart leaders will anticipate these changes and initiate gradual democratic reforms to avoid political instability and economic problems.

  2. David Sandberg:

    Being different in some way doesn't necessarily hurt you, but it is not an advantage, and so one has to know something about the factors that make a child more vulnerable for being rejected or neglected by peers. And those would be things that in a gradual, developmentally appropriate way that I would tell some families. But I would sort of telegraph that early on. If I have any value at all to the family, it's engaging them in a discussion that continues over time, as the child gets older. And then, over time, engaging the child in these conversations.

  3. The Gulf source:

    Saudi Arabia favours a gradual approach to increase output to compensate for any unplanned outages. The decision about the timing and amount of oil to raise will be decided when the ministers meet in June, the increase in output will be dictated by market conditions and all the numbers circulated about size of the increase or the timing are mere speculation.

  4. Brian Jacobsen:

    While this report can help justify a rate hike in December, it can't justify anything more than a very gradual path of rate hikes.

  5. Nicola Lindson-Hawley:

    We hypothesize that you get it all out of the way in one go [by quitting abruptly]. In the gradual group, because they were put through it in a gradual way, they lost the motivation.

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"gradual." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 17 Jun 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/gradual>.

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