Etymology
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gradate (v.)

"pass by imperceptible degrees," 1753, back-formation from gradation. Related: Gradated; gradating.

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Definitions of gradate

gradate (v.)
arrange according to grades;
These lines are gradated
gradate (v.)
pass imperceptibly from one degree, shade, or tone into another;
The paint on these walls gradates but you don't see it
From wordnet.princeton.edu