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Degree    : [dɪgr'i]
Degree \De*gree"\, n. [F. degr['e], OF. degret, fr. LL.
degradare. See {Degrade}.]
1. A step, stair, or staircase. [Obs.]
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By ladders, or else by degree. --Rom. of R.
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2. One of a series of progressive steps upward or downward,
in quality, rank, acquirement, and the like; a stage in
progression; grade; gradation; as, degrees of vice and
virtue; to advance by slow degrees; degree of comparison.
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3. 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." --Lowell.
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4. Measure of advancement; quality; extent; as, tastes differ
in kind as well as in degree.
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The degree of excellence which proclaims genius, is
different in different times and different places.
--Sir. J.
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5. Grade or rank to which scholars are admitted by a college
or university, in recognition of their attainments; also,
(informal) the diploma provided by an educational
institution attesting to the achievement of that rank; as,
the degree of bachelor of arts, master, doctor, etc.; to
hang one's degrees on the office wall.
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Note: 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
{honorary degrees}.
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The youth attained his bachelor's degree, and
left the university. --Macaulay.
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6. (Genealogy) 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 degree.
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In the 11th century an opinion began to gain ground
in Italy, that third cousins might marry, being in
the seventh degree according to the civil law.
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7. (Arith.) Three figures taken together in numeration; thus,
140 is one degree, 222,140 two degrees.
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8. (Algebra) 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, a^{2}b^{3}c
is 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, ax^{4} bx^{2} = c, and
mx^{2}y^{2} nyx = p, are both equations of the fourth
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9. (Trig.) 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.
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10. A division, space, or interval, marked on a mathematical
or other instrument, as on a thermometer.

11. (Mus.) A line or space of the staff.
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Note: The short lines and their spaces are added degrees.
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{Accumulation of degrees}. (Eng. Univ.) See under

{By degrees}, step by step; by little and little; by moderate
advances. "I'll leave it by degrees." --Shak.

{Degree of a curve} or {Degree of a surface} (Geom.), 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} (Geog.), 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; as, mendacious to
a degree.
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It has been said that Scotsmen . . . are . . . grave
to a degree on occasions when races more favored by
nature are gladsome to excess. --Prof.
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n 1: a position on a scale of intensity or amount or quality; "a
moderate grade of intelligence"; "a high level of care is
required"; "it is all a matter of degree" [synonym: {degree},
{grade}, {level}]
2: a specific identifiable position in a continuum or series or
especially in a process; "a remarkable degree of frankness";
"at what stage are the social sciences?" [synonym: {degree},
{level}, {stage}, {point}]
3: an award conferred by a college or university signifying that
the recipient has satisfactorily completed a course of study;
"he earned his degree at Princeton summa cum laude" [synonym:
{academic degree}, {degree}]
4: a measure for arcs and angles; "there are 360 degrees in a
circle" [synonym: {degree}, {arcdegree}]
5: the highest power of a term or variable
6: a unit of temperature on a specified scale; "the game was
played in spite of the 40-degree temperature"
7: the seriousness of something (e.g., a burn or crime); "murder
in the second degree"; "a second degree burn"

172 Moby Thesaurus words for "degree":
AA, AB, AM, Associate of Arts, BS, Bachelor of Arts,
Bachelor of Divinity, Bachelor of Science, DD, DDS,
Doctor of Divinity, Doctor of Laws, Doctor of Letters,
Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Music, Doctor of Philosophy,
Doctor of Science, Doctor of Theology, JD, LLD, LittD, MA, MBA, MD,
MFA, MLS, MS, Master of Arts, Master of Divinity,
Master of Science, PhD, SB, SM, STD, ScD, ThD, baccalaureate,
baccalaureus, bachelor, bar, bar line, barometer, bit by bit,
brace, by degrees, canon, cardinal points, caste, check, class,
compass card, compass rose, condition, consecutive intervals,
considerably, continuity, criterion, decidedly, degrees, diapason,
diatessaron, diatonic interval, diatonic semitone, dimension,
doctor, doctorate, east, eastward, enharmonic diesis,
enharmonic interval, estate, exceedingly, extent, fifth, fourth,
gauge, gradation, grade, gradually, graduated scale, half points,
half step, halftone, hierarchy, highly, inch by inch, inchmeal,
interval, ledger line, lengths, less semitone, level, limit, line,
little by little, lubber line, magnitude, master, measure,
melodic interval, model, norm, north, northeast, northward,
northwest, notch, note, occident, octave, order, orient,
parallel octaves, parameter, pattern, place, point, position,
proportion, quantity, quarter points, quite, rank, rate, rather,
ratio, reading, readout, rhumb, rule, rung, scale, second,
semitone, sequence, serial order, seventh, situation, sixth, size,
slowly, somewhat, south, southeast, southward, southwest, space,
staff, stage, standard, standing, station, status, stave, step,
step by step, subordination, substantially, sunrise, sunset, test,
third, to a degree, tone, touchstone, type, unison interval, value,
west, westward, whole step, yardstick

The degree (or valency) of a node in a graph is the number of
edges joined to it.

DEGREE, measures. In angular measures, a degree is equal to sixty minutes,
or the thirtieth part of a sine. Vide Measure.

DEGREE, persons. By. degree, is understood the state or condition of a
person. The ancient English statute of additions, for example, requires that
in process, for the better description of a defendant, his state, degree, or
mystery, shall be mentioned.

DEGREE, descents. This word is derived from the French degre, which is
itself taken from the Latin gradus, and signifies literally, a step in a
stairway, or the round of a ladder.
2. Figuratively applied, and as it is understood in law, it is the
distance between those who are allied by blood; it means the relations
descending from a common ancestor, from generation to generation, as by so
many steps. Hence, according to some Lexicographers, we obtain the word,
pedigree (q.v.) Par degrez, by degree, the descent being reckoned par
degrez. Minshew. Each generation lengthens the line of descent one degree,
for the degrees are only the generations marked in a line by small circles
or squares, in which the names of the persons forming it are written. Vide
Consanguinity;, Line; and also Ayliffe's Parergon, 209; Toull. Dr. Civ.
Frau. liv. 3, t. 1, c. 3, n. 158; Aso & Man. Inst. B. 2, t. 4, c. 3, Sec. 1.

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