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Grad"u*al" (?); a. [Cf; F. graduel. See Grade, and cf. Gradual, n.] Proceeding by steps or degrees; advancing, step by step, as in ascent or descent or from one state to another; regularly progressive; slow; as, a gradual increase of knowledge; a gradual decline.
Creatures animate with gradual life Milton.
Of growth, sense, reason, all summed up in man.
Grad"u*al, n. [LL. graduale a gradual (in sense 1), fr. L. gradus step: cf. F. graduel. See Grade, and cf. Grail a gradual.] 1. (R. C. Ch.) (a) An antiphon or responsory after the epistle, in the Mass, which was sung on the steps, or while the deacon ascended the steps. (b) A service book containing the musical portions of the Mass.
2. A series of steps. [Obs.] Dryden.