gradation


gradation
gradation, shade, nuance are comparable when they mean the difference or variation between two things that are nearly alike.
Gradation in the singular implies a small difference or variation of this kind, but the term is used more frequently in the plural, so that it usually implies the successive steps by which a thing passes from one type or kind into something else of a different type or kind; thus, if we take the primary colors of the spectrum as blue, yellow, and red, the gradations between these are not the colors green, orange, purple, which are clearly seen, but all of the intermediate colors by which blue gradually passes into green, and green into yellow, and yellow into orange, and so on; therefore the word is often modified by some adjective (as sensible, apparent, perceptible, or imperceptible)
{

the gradations between prose and verse are fine but perceptible

}
{

by insensible gradations shale becomes slate

}
{

by imperceptible gradations her love was transformed into pity

}
Shade implies a minute or barely perceptible degree of difference (as in thought, belief, meaning, or position)
{

every shade of religious and political opinion— Macaulay

}
{

discover fine shades of meaning in synonyms

}
Shade is also often used adverbially in this sense with comparatives of ad-jectives or adverbs to imply a degree of difference that is barely noticeable
{

he drew his chair a shade nearer

}
{

his second attempt was a shade better than his first

}
Nuance, though often interchangeable with shade, tends to stress even more the slightness or delicacy of the difference (as between musical tones, tints of color, or feelings)
{

I . . . think that there is a shade, a nuance of expression . . . which does imply this; but, I confess, the only person who can really settle such a question is M. Renan himself— Arnold

}
{

a faint . . . nuance of assent in Cousin Lydia's voice seemed to admit the . . . comment— Mary Austin

}
{

nuances that might have passed unperceived break startlingly upon one's consciousness— Millan

}
Analogous words: difference, divergence, distinction (see DISSIMILARITY): variation, modification, change (see under CHANGE vb)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • gradation — [ gradasjɔ̃ ] n. f. • 1464 rhét.; lat. gradatio; de gradus « degré » 1 ♦ (1595) Progression par degrés successifs, et le plus souvent ascendante. ⇒ accroissement, augmentation; graduer. Gradations d effets. L âme « est amenée par une gradation… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Gradation — may refer to: * Gradation (music) * Gradation in color, a gradual change between hues, tones, or shades * Consonant gradation * Ordering by some type of grade * Calibration markings * Apophony, in linguisticsee also*Degradation …   Wikipedia

  • Gradation — Gra*da tion, n., [L. gradatio: cf. F. gradation. See {Grade}.] 1. The act of progressing by regular steps or orderly arrangement; the state of being graded or arranged in ranks; as, the gradation of castes. [1913 Webster] 2. The act or process of …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • gradation — 1530s, climax, from M.Fr. gradation (16c.) and directly from L. gradationem (nom. gradatio) ascent by steps, a climax, noun of action from gradus step, degree (see GRADE (Cf. grade)). Meaning gradual change is from 1540s. Related: Gradational …   Etymology dictionary

  • gradation — [grā dā′shən, grədā shən] n. [Fr < L gradatio < gradatus, having steps or grades < gradus: see GRADE] 1. the act or process of forming or arranging in grades, stages, or steps 2. a gradual change by steps or stages from one condition,… …   English World dictionary

  • Gradation — Gra*da tion, v. t. To form with gradations. [R.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Gradation — (v. lat.), 1) Steigerung, bes. logische G., das Aufsteigen von niederen Begriffen zu höheren od. das Absteigen von höheren zu niederen; von der grammatischen G. s. Comparation; 2) (Klimax, Rhetor.), Figur, vermöge welcher man die Glieder weniger… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Gradation — (lat.), stufenweise Erhöhung, Abstufung, Steigerung; in der Logik das Aufsteigen von niedern (konkreten) Begriffen zu höhern (abstrakten) oder das Absteigen von höhern zu niedern; in der Rhetorik die allmähliche Steigerung aneinander gereihter… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Gradation — Gradatiōn (lat.), Steigerung; in der Rhetorik das Fortschreiten der Gedanken nach dem Verhältnis ihrer Bedeutung, entweder vom Schwächern zum Stärkern (Klimax) oder umgekehrt (Antiklimax) …   Kleines Konversations-Lexikon

  • Gradation — Gradation, lat. deutsch, vom lat. gradus, Schritt, die Abstufung, bezeichnet in der Logik das Aufsteigen vom niedern Begriffe zu seinem höhern oder umgekehrt das Herabsteigen vom höhern zu dem niedern. In der Rede u. Dichtkunst entspricht die G.… …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.