The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Grade \Grade\ (gr[=a]d), n. [F. grade, L. gradus step, pace,
grade, from gradi to step, go. Cf. Congress, Degree,
1. A step or degree in any series, rank, quality, order;
relative position or standing; as, grades of military
rank; crimes of every grade; grades of flour.
They also appointed and removed, at their own
teachers of every grade. --Buckle.
2. In a railroad or highway:
(a) The rate of ascent or descent; gradient; deviation
from a level surface to an inclined plane; -- usually
stated as so many feet per mile, or as one foot rise
or fall in so many of horizontal distance; as, a heavy
grade; a grade of twenty feet per mile, or of 1 in
(b) A graded ascending, descending, or level portion of a
road; a gradient.
3. (Stock Breeding) The result of crossing a native stock
with some better breed. If the crossbreed have more than
three fourths of the better blood, it is called high
At grade, on the same level; -- said of the crossing of a
railroad with another railroad or a highway, when they are
on the same level at the point of crossing.
Down grade, a descent, as on a graded railroad.
Up grade, an ascent, as on a graded railroad.
Equating for grades. See under Equate.
Grade crossing, a crossing at grade.