The word "gradual" is an adjective that we use to describe something that happens slowly and over time.

  • She’s making gradual progress.
  • His recovery from the accident has been gradual.
  • The teacher is seeing gradual improvement in his students’ English skills.
  • A gradual decline in home values upset the housing market in this area.
  • If the slope on the mountain were more gradual, it would be easier to climb–but it isn’t.

The adverb form of this word is "gradually."

  • Daily temperatures in the spring gradually increase.
  • He’s gradually getting better.
  • Her health is gradually getting worse.
  • The economy is gradually improving.
  • Gradually, you’ll learn enough English to communicate with confidence.

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First published on April 14, 2013. Updated on April 26, 2017