Definition of gradate in US English:



  • 1Pass or cause to pass by gradations from one shade of color to another.

    no object ‘the black background gradated toward a dark purple’
    • ‘They slowly gradated into each other before the sun itself finally came up.’
    • ‘This helped them build up the climaxes of phrasing, so characteristic of the Romantic style, and to gradate more smoothly to the final part.’
    • ‘In gradated shades of blue, with intricate makeup that transformed the performers' faces into masks, the stage picture was strikingly beautiful.’
    • ‘Frequently, color is gradated to imply light welling up, or heat.’
    • ‘So, the spectrum of wealth that gradates from the poor inner cities to the rich suburbs will be more clearly defined.’
    • ‘Just as the dowels diminish in size from the top to the bottom of the piece, the purple acrylic is gradated in its application to each element.’
    1. 1.1with object Arrange in steps or grades of size, amount, or quality.
      ‘they opposed early moves to graduate income tax’
      • ‘The bill also contains provisions relating to rent setting and reviews and procedures for the termination of tenancies, including gradated notice periods linked to the duration of a tenancy.’
      • ‘From the top floors of the lobby, you see how the architects have gradated that surface with gravel, stone and ivy so that the urban realm really does flow into the bureaucratic.’
      • ‘Ground and polished, it can reveal a subtle, colored matrix of gradated sands and rock, such as you might find along the edge of a stream bed.’


Mid 18th century: back-formation from gradation.