1a particular level of rank, quality, proficiency, or value:sea salt is usually available in coarse or fine grades [in combination]:high-grade steel a level in a salary or employment structure:clerical and secretarial grades British a level of importance allocated to a listed building: [as modifier]:a Grade I listed building (in historical linguistics) a relative position in a series of forms involving ablaut. Zoology a group of animals at a similar evolutionary level. 2
chiefly North American a mark indicating the quality of a student’s work:I got good grades last semester
(with specifying ordinal number) those pupils in a school or school system who are grouped by age or ability for teaching at a particular level for a year:she teaches first grade British an examination, especially in music:I took grade five and got a distinction 3
chiefly North American a gradient or slope:just over the crest of a long seven per cent grade
4 [usually as modifier] a variety of cattle produced by crossing with a superior breed:grade stock 1arrange in or allocate to grades; classify or sort:the timber is graded according to its thickness 2
chiefly North American give a mark to (a student or a piece of work).
3 [no object] pass gradually from one level, especially a shade of colour, into another:the sky graded from blue at the top of the shot to white on the horizon 4reduce (a road) to an easy gradient.
5cross (livestock) with a superior breed.