A unit of measurement, degree describes the level, intensity or seriousness of something. So that hot coffee may not have caused 3rd degree burns, but it still took a good degree of self-control not to scream when you sipped it.

You could say there are many degrees of appropriate usage for the noun degree. In education, it's what you earn from a college or university after passing all the right courses. When it comes to temperature, you can put your degrees into Celsius or Fahrenheit. And if you're stuck in geometry class, you'll be spending lots of time talking about the 360 degrees in a circle or the 90 degrees in a right angle.

Definitions of degree
  1. noun
    a specific identifiable position in a continuum or series or especially in a process
    “a remarkable degree of frankness”
    synonyms: level, point, stage
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    ascending stages by which somebody or something can progress
    acme, elevation, height, meridian, peak, pinnacle, summit, superlative, tiptop, top, zenith
    the highest level or degree attainable; the highest stage of development
    the point or degree to which something extends
    end point, resultant
    the final point in a process
    standard of life, standard of living
    a level of material comfort in terms of goods and services available to someone or some group
    a level of existence or development
    state of the art
    the highest degree of development of an art or technique at a particular time
    ultimacy, ultimateness
    the state or degree of being ultimate; the final or most extreme in degree or size or time or distance, "the ultimacy of these social values"
    the stage of pregnancy at which the mother first feels the movements of the fetus
    the most severe stage of a disease
    the greatest or utmost degree
    extremeness of degree
    type of:
    the way something is with respect to its main attributes
  2. noun
    a position on a scale of intensity or amount or quality
    “it is all a matter of degree
    synonyms: grade, level
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    caliber, calibre, quality
    a degree or grade of excellence or worth
    intensity, intensiveness
    high level or degree; the property of being intense
    the grade of particle fineness to which a substance is ground
    degree of psychological or intellectual profundity
    a high degree (of amount or force etc.)
    a lofty level or position or degree
    a low level or position or degree
    a low or small degree of any quality (amount or force or temperature etc.)
    the furthest or highest degree of something
    amplitude level
    the level on a scale of amplitude
    moderateness, moderation
    quality of being moderate and avoiding extremes
    immoderateness, immoderation
    the quality of being excessive and lacking in moderation
    SPF, sun protection factor
    the degree to which a sunscreen protects the skin from the direct rays of the sun
    high quality, superiority
    the quality of being superior
    inferiority, low quality
    an inferior quality
    force, forcefulness, strength
    physical energy or intensity
    badness, severeness, severity
    used of the degree of something undesirable e.g. pain or weather
    emphasis, vehemence
    intensity or forcefulness of expression
    the greatest possible intensity
    ferocity, fierceness, furiousness, fury, vehemence, violence, wildness
    the property of being wild or turbulent
    profoundness, profundity
    intellectual depth; penetrating knowledge; keen insight; etc
    shallowness, superficiality
    lack of depth of knowledge or thought or feeling
    golden mean
    the middle between extremes
    moderation in expectations
    excess, excessiveness, inordinateness
    immoderation as a consequence of going beyond sufficient or permitted limits
    type of:
    a basic or essential attribute shared by all members of a class
  3. noun
    the highest power of a term or variable
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    degree of a term
    the sum of the exponents of the variables in the term
    degree of a polynomial
    the degree of the term in the polynomial that has the highest degree
    first degree
    a degree of one
    type of:
    exponent, index, power
    a mathematical notation indicating the number of times a quantity is multiplied by itself
  4. noun
    a measure for arcs and angles
    “there are 360 degrees in a circle”
    synonyms: arcdegree
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    angular unit
    a unit of measurement for angles
  5. noun
    a unit of temperature on a specified scale
    “the game was played in spite of the 40- degree temperature”
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    C, degree Celsius, degree centigrade
    a degree on the centigrade scale of temperature
    F, degree Fahrenheit
    a degree on the Fahrenheit scale of temperature
    standard temperature
    exactly zero degrees centigrade
    type of:
    temperature unit
    a unit of measurement for temperature
  6. noun
    the seriousness of something (e.g., a burn or crime)
    “murder in the second degree
    “a second degree burn”
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    type of:
    the property of relative size or extent (whether large or small)
  7. noun
    an award conferred by a college or university signifying that the recipient has satisfactorily completed a course of study
    “he earned his degree at Princeton summa cum laude”
    synonyms: academic degree
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    associate, associate degree
    a degree granted by a two-year college on successful completion of the undergraduates course of studies
    baccalaureate, bachelor's degree
    an academic degree conferred on someone who has successfully completed undergraduate studies
    honours, honours degree
    a university degree with honors
    master's degree
    an academic degree higher than a bachelor's degree but lower than a doctor's degree
    doctor's degree, doctorate
    one of the highest earned academic degrees conferred by a university
    law degree
    degree conferred on someone who successfully completes law school
    honorary degree, honoris causa
    a degree conferred to honor the recipient
    AA, Associate in Arts
    an associate degree in arts
    AAS, Associate in Applied Science
    an associate degree in applied science
    AN, Associate in Nursing
    an associate degree in nursing
    AB, Artium Baccalaurens, BA, Bachelor of Arts
    a bachelor's degree in arts and sciences
    ABLS, Bachelor of Arts in Library Science
    a bachelor's degree in library science
    BAN, Bachelor of Arts in Nursing
    a bachelor's degree in nursing
    BD, Bachelor of Divinity
    a bachelor's degree in religion
    BLitt, Bachelor of Literature
    a bachelor's degree in literature
    Bachelor of Medicine, MB
    (a British degree) a bachelor's degree in medicine
    BMus, Bachelor of Music
    a bachelor's degree in music
    BNS, Bachelor of Naval Science
    a bachelor's degree in naval science
    BS, Bachelor of Science, SB
    a bachelor's degree in science
    BSArch, Bachelor of Science in Architecture
    a bachelor's degree in architecture
    Bachelor of Science in Engineering
    a bachelor's degree in engineering
    Bachelor of Theology, ThB
    a bachelor's degree in theology
    first, first-class honours degree
    an honours degree of the highest class
    MArch, Master of Architecture
    a degree granted for the successful completion of advanced study of architecture
    AM, Artium Magister, MA, Master of Arts
    a master's degree in arts and sciences
    MALS, Master of Arts in Library Science
    a master's degree in library science
    MAT, Master of Arts in Teaching
    a master's degree in teaching
    MBA, Master in Business, Master in Business Administration
    a master's degree in business
    MDiv, Master of Divinity
    a master's degree in religion
    MEd, Master of Education
    a master's degree in education
    MFA, Master of Fine Arts
    a master's degree in fine arts
    MLitt, Master of Literature
    a master's degree in literature
    MLS, Master of Library Science
    a master's degree in library science
    Master in Public Affairs
    a master's degree in questions of public concern
    MS, MSc, Master of Science, SM
    a master's degree in science
    Master of Science in Engineering
    a master's degree in engineering
    Master of Theology, ThM
    a master's degree in theology
    DMD, Doctor of Dental Medicine
    a doctor's degree in dental medicine
    DDS, Doctor of Dental Surgery
    a doctor's degree in dental surgery
    DD, Doctor of Divinity
    a doctor's degree in religion
    DEd, Doctor of Education, EdD
    a doctor's degree in education
    Doctor of Medicine, MD
    a doctor's degree in medicine
    DMus, Doctor of Music, MusD
    a doctor's degree in music
    AMusD, Doctor of Musical Arts
    a doctor's degree in musical arts
    Doctor of Optometry, OD
    a doctor's degree in optometry
    DO, Doctor of Osteopathy
    doctor's degree in osteopathy
    D.A., Doctor of Arts
    a doctor's degree with a special disciplinary focus
    Doctor of Philosophy
    a doctorate awarded for original contributions to knowledge
    DPH, Doctor of Public Health
    a doctor's degree in preventive medicine
    Doctor of Theology, ThD
    a doctor's degree in theology
    Doctor of Sacred Theology, STD
    a doctor's degree in theology
    Bachelor of Laws, LLB
    a three-year law degree
    LLM, Master of Laws
    an advanced law degree
    ArtsD, Doctor of Arts
    an honorary arts degree
    Doctor of Fine Arts
    an honorary degree in fine arts
    Doctor of Humane Letters
    an honorary degree in letters
    Doctor of Humanities
    an honorary degree in the humanities
    Doctor of Laws, LLD
    an honorary law degree
    DS, Doctor of Science, ScD
    an honorary degree in science
    type of:
    accolade, award, honor, honour, laurels
    a tangible symbol signifying approval or distinction
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