[graj-oo-uh l] /ˈgrædʒ u əl/

taking place, changing, moving, etc., by small degrees or little by little:
gradual improvement in health.
rising or descending at an even, moderate inclination:
a gradual slope.
Ecclesiastical. (often initial capital letter)

occurring, developing, moving, etc, in small stages: a gradual improvement in health
not steep or abrupt: a gradual slope
(often capital) (Christianity)


early 15c., “having steps or ridges,” from Medieval Latin gradualis, from Latin gradus “step” (see grade). Meaning “arranged by degrees” is from 1540s; that of “taking place by degrees” is from 1690s.


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