Meaning of DEGREE in English

de ‧ gree S2 W1 /dɪˈɡriː/ BrE AmE noun

[ Date: 1200-1300 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: degré , from Latin gradus 'step, grade' ]

1 . [countable] ( written abbreviation deg. ) a unit for measuring temperature. It can be shown as a symbol after a number. For example, 70º means 70 degrees:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

20 degrees Celsius/70 degrees Fahrenheit/1 degree Centigrade etc

The temperature dropped to five degrees Centigrade.

2 . [countable] ( written abbreviation deg. ) a unit for measuring the size of an angle. It can be shown as a symbol after a number. For example, 18º means 18 degrees:

Then the cylinder is rotated 180 degrees.

3 . [uncountable and countable] the level or amount of something

degree of

1960s Britain was characterised by a greater degree of freedom than before.

Newspapers vary in the degree to which they emphasize propaganda rather than information.

4 . to a degree ( also to some degree/to a certain degree ) partly:

To a degree, it is possible to educate oneself.

We’re all willing to support him to some degree.

5 . [countable] a course of study at a university or college, or the ↑ qualification that is given to you when you have successfully completed the course

degree in

a degree in Economics

Applicants must have a degree in Engineering.

an Honours degree

6 . by degrees very slowly SYN gradually :

By degrees, he forced himself into a sitting position.

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 5)


▪ a good degree (=that you pass at a good level)

Mature students are more likely to get a good degree.

▪ a university/college degree

For many jobs you need to have a university degree.

▪ a first-class/second-class/third-class degree (=the level at which you pass a degree at a British university)

She was awarded a first-class degree.

▪ an honours degree (=a British university degree that is above pass level)

The ideal candidate will have an honours degree.

▪ a first/undergraduate degree (=the lowest level of degree)

First degrees usually take three or four years.

▪ a higher/postgraduate degree (=one that you take after a first degree)

He was offered a grant for a postgraduate degree.

▪ a master's degree (=a higher degree for which you study for one or two years)

She's taking her master's degree.

▪ a science degree (=in a science subject)

The government is encouraging more people to get a science degree.

▪ an arts degree (=in a subject that is not science)

She has an arts degree from Sussex University.

▪ a history/chemistry/law etc degree

I decided to do a Maths degree.

▪ a joint degree British English (=in which you study two subjects)

a joint degree in Economics and Statistics

▪ a research degree (=a higher degree for which you do your own research)

■ verbs

▪ have a degree

You will earn more if you have a college degree.

▪ hold a degree formal (=have one)

The ideal candidate will hold a degree in physical chemistry.

▪ do/take a degree in something (=study for a degree)

Not enough students are taking degrees in Physics.

▪ get/gain a degree

She worked hard and got a good degree.

▪ be awarded a degree formal (=get one)

At the end of the three years, he was awarded a first-class honours degree.

■ nouns

▪ a degree course

I didn't enjoy the first year of my degree course.

▪ degree level

Candidates should be educated to degree level.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.