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Definition of degree
1 [in singular] the amount, level, or extent to which something happens or is present:a degree of caution is probably wise a question of degree 2a unit of measurement of angles, one three-hundred-and-sixtieth of the circumference of a circle:set at an angle of 45 degrees (Symbol: °) 3a stage in a scale or series, in particular. a unit in any of various scales of temperature, intensity, or hardness:water boils at 100 degrees Celsius (Symbol: °) [in combination] a legal grade of crime or offense, especially murder:second-degree murder [often in combination] a step in direct genealogical descent:second-degree relatives Music a position in a musical scale, counting upward from the tonic or fundamental note:the lowered third degree of the scale Mathematics the class into which an equation falls according to the highest power of unknowns or variables present:an equation of the second degree Grammar any of the three steps on the scale of comparison of gradable adjectives and adverbs, namely positive, comparative, and superlative. archaic a thing placed like a step in a series; a tier or row. 4an academic rank conferred by a college or university after examination or after completion of a course of study, or conferred as an honor on a distinguished person:a degree in zoology archaic social or official rank:persons of unequal degree a rank in an order of Freemasonry.