Webster 1913 Edition
degret, fr. LL.
A step, stair, or staircase.
By ladders, or else by
Rom. of R.
One of a series of progressive steps upward or downward, in quality, rank, acquirement, and the like; a stage in progression; grade; gradation;
degreesof vice and virtue; to advance by slow
The point or step of progression to which a person has arrived; rank or station in life; position.“A dame of high degree.”
Dryden.“A knight is your degree.”
Shak.“Lord or lady of high degree.”
Measure of advancement; quality; extent;
as, tastes differ in kind as well as in.
degreeof excellence which proclaims genius, is different in different times and different places.
Sir. J. Reynolds.
☞ In the United States diplomas are usually given as the evidence of a degree conferred. In the humanities the first degree is that of
bachelor of arts(B. A. or A. B.); the second that of
master of arts(M. A. or A. M.). The degree of bachelor (of arts, science, divinity, law, etc.) is conferred upon those who complete a prescribed course of undergraduate study. The first degree in medicine is that of
doctor of medicine(M. D.). The degrees of master and doctor are also conferred, in course, upon those who have completed certain prescribed postgraduate studies, as
doctor of philosophy(Ph. D.); the degree of doctor is also conferred as a complimentary recognition of eminent services in science or letters, or for public services or distinction (as
doctor of laws(LL. D.) or
doctor of divinity(D. D.), when they are called
The youth attained his bachelor’s
degree, and left the university.
A certain distance or remove in the line of descent, determining the proximity of blood; one remove in the chain of relationship;
as, a relation in the third or fourth.
In the 11th century an opinion began to gain ground in Italy, that third cousins might marry, being in the seventh
degreeaccording to the civil law.
Three figures taken together in numeration; thus, 140 is one degree, 222,140 two degrees.
State as indicated by sum of exponents; more particularly, the degree of a term is indicated by the sum of the exponents of its literal factors; thus,
ais a term of the sixth degree. The degree of a power, or radical, is denoted by its index, that of an equation by the greatest sum of the exponents of the unknown quantities in any term; thus,
mx, are both equations of the fourth degree.
2+ nyx = p
A 360th part of the circumference of a circle, which part is taken as the principal unit of measure for arcs and angles. The degree is divided into 60 minutes and the minute into 60 seconds.
A division, space, or interval, marked on a mathematical or other instrument, as on a thermometer.
A line or space of the staff.
☞ The short lines and their spaces are added degrees.
Accumulation of degrees.
step by step; by little and little; by moderate advances.“I'll leave it by degrees.”
Degree of a curveor
Degree of a surface
the number which expresses the degree of the equation of the curve or surface in rectilinear coordinates. A straight line will, in general, meet the curve or surface in a number of points equal to the degree of the curve or surface and no more.–
Degree of latitude
on the earth, the distance on a meridian between two parallels of latitude whose latitudes differ from each other by one degree. This distance is not the same on different parts of a meridian, on account of the flattened figure of the earth, being 68.702 statute miles at the equator, and 69.396 at the poles.–
Degree of longitude,
the distance on a parallel of latitude between two meridians that make an angle of one degree with each other at the poles – a distance which varies as the cosine of the latitude, being at the equator 69.16 statute miles.–
To a degree,
to an extreme; exceedingly;
to a degree
It has been said that Scotsmen . . . are . . . grave
to a degreeon occasions when races more favored by nature are gladsome to excess.
Webster 1828 Edition
1.A step; a distinct portion of space of indefinite extent; a space in progression; as, the army gained the hill by degrees; a balloon rises or descends by slow degrees; and figuratively, we advance in knowledge by slow degrees. Men are yet in the first degree of improvement. It should be their aim to attain to the furthest degree, or the highest degree. There are degrees of vice and virtue.
2.A step or portion of progression, in elevation, quality, dignity or rank; as a man of great degree.
We speak of men of high degree, or of low degree; of superior or inferior degree. It is supposed there are different degrees or orders of angels.
They purchase to themselves a good degree. 1 Tim. 3.
3.In genealogy, a certain distance or remove in the line of descent, determining the proximity of blood; as a relation in the third or fourth degree.
4.Measure; extent. The light is intense to a degree that is intolerable. We suffer an extreme degree of heat or cold.
5.In geometry, a division of a circle, including a three hundred and sixtieth part of its circumference. Hence a degree of latitude is the 360th part of the earths surface north or south of the equator, and a degree of longitude, the same part of the surface east or west of any given meridian.
6.In music, an interval of sound, marked by a line on the scale.
7.In arithmetic, a degree consists of three figures; thus, 270, 360, compose two degrees.
8.A division, space or interval, marked on a mathematical or other instrument; as on a thermometer, or barometer.
9.In colleges and universities, a mark of distinction conferred on students, as a testimony of their proficiency in arts and sciences; giving them a kind of rank, and entitling them to certain privileges. This is usually evidenced by a diploma. Degrees are conferred pro meritis on the alumni of a college; or they are honorary tokens of respect, conferred on strangers of distinguished reputation. The first degree is that of Bachelor of Arts; the second, that of Master of Arts. Honorary degrees are those of Doctor of Divinity, Doctor of Laws, &c. Physicians also receive the degree of Doctor of Medicine.
By degrees, step by step; gradually; by little and little; by moderate advances. Frequent drinking forms by degrees a confirmed habit of intemperance.