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.

Primary Meanings of degree

a specific identifiable position in a continuum or series or especially in a process
an award conferred by a college or university signifying that the recipient has satisfactorily completed a course of study
Full Definitions of degree

n a specific identifiable position in a continuum or series or especially in a process

“a remarkable degree of frankness”
level, point, stage
show 12 types...
hide 12 types...
ascending stages by which somebody or something can progress
acme, elevation, height, meridian, peak, pinnacle, summit, superlative, tiptop, top
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

n a position on a scale of intensity or amount or quality

“it is all a matter of degree
grade, level
show 25 types...
hide 25 types...
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

n the highest power of a term or variable

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

n a measure for arcs and angles

“there are 360 degrees in a circle”
Type of:
angular unit
a unit of measurement for angles

n a unit of temperature on a specified scale

“the game was played in spite of the 40- degree temperature”
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

n the seriousness of something (e.g., a burn or crime)

“murder in the second degree
“a second degree burn”
Type of:
the property of relative size or extent (whether large or small)

n 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”
academic degree
show 59 types...
hide 59 types...
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

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.