degree

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get the third degree

To be interrogated, scrutinized, or questioned intensely or thoroughly by someone. My boyfriend is so controlling that I always get the third degree if I go anywhere or see anyone without him. I got the third degree from the police regarding my whereabouts during the crime.
See also: degree, get, third

give (someone) the third degree

To interrogate, scrutinize, or question someone intensely or thoroughly. My boyfriend is so controlling, always giving me the third degree if I go anywhere or see anyone without him. The police gave me the third degree regarding my whereabouts during the crime.
See also: degree, give, third

to a certain degree

Somewhat; partly; in a limited way or to a limited extent. Your essay would be improved to a certain degree by tidying up your paragraphs, but your topic on the whole has some fundamental problems. Our administration is willing to negotiate to a certain degree, but we aren't ready to make any significant changes to the legislation.
See also: certain, degree

do a 180 degree turn

To make a big change in some area of one's life. If one physically turns 180 degrees, one will then be facing the opposite direction. A: "Can you believe that Sam quit his job at the firm?" B: "No, he really did a 180 degree turn on being a paralegal!"
See also: degree, turn

by degrees

Gradually; in steps. I've been putting $50 aside every month to increase my savings account by degrees.
See also: degree

to some degree

Somewhat; partly; in a limited way or to a limited extent. Your essay would be improved to some degree by tidying up your paragraphs, but your topic on the whole has some fundamental problems. The administration is willing to negotiate to some degree, but it is not ready to make any significant changes to the legislation.
See also: degree

do a one-eighty

 and turn one hundred and eighty degrees 
1. Lit. to turn around and go in the opposite direction. When I hollered, the dog did a one-eighty and headed back to its own yard.
2. Fig. to radically reverse a decision or opinion. His political philosophy turned one hundred and eighty degrees when he grew a little older.

*third degree

Fig. a long and detailed period of questioning. (*Typically: get ~; give someone ~.) Why is it I get the third degree from you every time I come home late? Poor Sally spent all night at the police station getting the third degree.
See also: degree, third

to the nth degree

to the maximum amount. Jane is a perfectionist and tries to be careful to the nth degree. This scientific instrument is accurate to the nth degree.
See also: degree

to the nth degree

as much or as far as possible It was a perfect evening - the parking, the dining, the service, everything worked to the nth degree. She pushed dance traditions to the nth degree.
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by degrees

in small stages By degrees the country began to question the decisions their leaders were making.
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to the nth degree

as much or as far as possible What I find is that you can follow instructions to the nth degree and still get it wrong.
See also: degree

the third degree

  (informal)
a situation in which someone tries to find out information by asking you a lot of questions Where have I been, who have I been with! What's this? The third degree? If I'm even half an hour late she gives me the third degree. I got the third degree from my dad when I got in last night.
See a fifth wheel
See also: degree, third

by degrees

Gradually, by successive steps or stages. For example, By degrees he began to delegate more and more of his duties to his staff. [Mid-1500s] Also see by inches.
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third degree

Intensive questioning or rough treatment used to obtain information or a confession, as in The detectives gave her the third degree, or Jim gave her the third degree when she came home so late. This term comes from freemasonry, where a candidate receives the third or highest degree, that of master mason, upon passing an intensive test. Dating from the 1770s, the phrase was transferred to other kinds of interrogation in the late 1800s.
See also: degree, third

to a degree

Also, to an extent. See to some degree.
See also: degree

to some degree

Also, to a certain degree; to some or a certain extent ; to a degree or an extent . Somewhat, in a way, as in To some degree we'll have to compromise, or To an extent it's a matter of adjusting to the colder climate. The use of degree in these terms, all used in the same way, dates from the first half of the 1700s, and extent from the mid-1800s.
See also: degree

to the nth degree

To the utmost, as in They'd decked out the house to the nth degree. This expression comes from mathematics, where to the nth means "to any required power" ( n standing for any number). It was first recorded in 1852.
See also: degree

third degree

n. a session of questioning, usually by the police. Bart got the third degree, but—being the thoroughbred he is—he was a clam. They gave Spike the third degree, but he refused to say anything.
See also: degree, third

by degrees

Little by little; gradually.
See also: degree

to a degree

To a small extent; in a limited way: doesn't like spicy food, but can eat a little pepper to a degree.
See also: degree
References in classic literature ?
And according to the degree of pleasure and pride we feel in being republicans, ought to be our zeal in cherishing the spirit and supporting the character of Federalists.
Certainly," said I, carried away by the Captain's reasoning; "if the surface of the sea is solidified by the ice, the lower depths are free by the Providential law which has placed the maximum of density of the waters of the ocean one degree higher than freezing-point; and, if I am not mistaken, the portion of this iceberg which is above the water is as one to four to that which is below.
In ancient times, the ambassadors of Nero reached the ninth degree of latitude, but in eighteen centuries only from five to six degrees, or from three hundred to three hundred and sixty geographical miles, were gained.
They next made for the first of the great lakes, the one named Tanganayika, situated between the third and eighth degrees of south latitude.
Yes, I'm thinking of it," I answered; "but what difference will it make when our air supply is exhausted whether the temperature is 153 degrees or 153,000?
During the next three hours we passed through ten miles of ice, eventually emerging into another series of ammonia-impregnated strata, where the mercury again fell to ten degrees below zero.
Nicholl consulted the thermometer, and saw that it had fallen to seventeen degrees (Centigrade) below zero.
A hundred and forty degrees Centigrade [4] below zero
However, she at last conversed with Square with such a degree of intimacy that malicious tongues began to whisper things of her, to which, as well for the sake of the lady, as that they were highly disagreeable to the rule of right and the fitness of things, we will give no credit, and therefore shall not blot our paper with them.
baldness, which is one of degree and has no sharp boundaries.
This view allows for the fact that sensations may reach any degree of faintness--e.
He listened with some degree of interest to what I had to say, but did not give me anything.
The degree of our conception of freedom or inevitability depends in this respect on the greater or lesser lapse of time between the performance of the action and our judgment of it.
He raised a certain building in his court-yard by a story, which shutting out the sun, took half a degree of warmth from Boxtel's garden, and, on the other hand, added half a degree of cold in winter; not to mention that it cut the wind, and disturbed all the horticultural calculations and arrangements of his neighbour.
Domestic races of the same species, also, often have a somewhat monstrous character; by which I mean, that, although differing from each other, and from the other species of the same genus, in several trifling respects, they often differ in an extreme degree in some one part, both when compared one with another, and more especially when compared with all the species in nature to which they are nearest allied.