- noun a unit for measuring temperature or angles, shown by the symbol (°)
- noun a small amount of something such as a quality or an emotion
- noun a level, amount or quantity
- noun a unit of measurement of an angle equal to 1/360th of a circle – each degree is divided into 60 minutes and each minutes into 60 seconds
- noun a unit of direction as measured on a compass
- noun a qualification awarded to someone who has passed a course of study at a university or polytechnic
- A unit of temperature interval, such as a kelvin, or a degree Celsius.
- A standard unit of angular measure, which is equal to 1/360 of a complete revolution of a circle. It is also equal to approximately 0.0174533 radian.
Information & Library Science
- noun a qualification awarded by a university or college following successful completion of a course of study or period of research, or a similar qualification granted as an honour
- noun a system for classifying murders
Origin & History of “degree”
Etymologically, degree means ‘step down’, a sense revealed more clearly in its relative degrade (14th c.). It comes via Old French degre from vulgar Latin *dēgradus, a compound noun formed from the prefix dē- ‘down’ and gradus ‘step’ (source of English gradual and a wide range of other words). The word’s modern meanings, such as ‘academic rank’ and ‘unit of temperature’, come from an underlying abstract notion of a hierarchy of steps or ranks. Degrade represents a parallel but distinct formation, originally coined as ecclesiastical Latin dēgradāre and passed into English via Old French degrader.