1. Reduced in rank, character, or reputation; debased; sunken; low; base.
The Netherlands . . . were reduced practically to a very degraded condition.Motley.
2. (Biol.) Having the typical characters or organs in a partially developed condition, or lacking certain
Some families of plants are degraded dicotyledons.Dana.
3. [Cf. F. degré step.] (Her.) Having steps; said of a cross each of whose extremities finishes in
steps growing larger as they leave the center; termed also on degrees.
(De*grade"ment) n. Deprivation of rank or office; degradation. [R.] Milton.
(De*grad"ing*ly), adv. In a degrading manner.
(Deg`ra*va"tion) n. [L. degravare, degravatum, to make heavy. See Grave, a.] The act
of making heavy. [Obs.] Bailey.
(De*gree") n. [F. degré, OF. degret, fr. LL. degradare. See Degrade.]
1. A step, stair, or staircase. [Obs.]
By ladders, or else by degree.Rom. of R.
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.
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.
4. Measure of advancement; quality; extent; as, tastes differ in kind as well as in degree.
The degree of excellence which proclaims genius, is different in different times and different places.Sir.
5. Grade or rank to which scholars are admitted by a college or university, in recognition of their attainments; as,
the degree of bachelor of arts, master, doctor, etc.
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 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 The degrees
of master and doctor are sometimes conferred, in course, upon those who have completed certain
prescribed postgraduate studies, as doctor of philosophy (Ph. D.); but more frequently the degree of
doctor is 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.Macaulay.