gradually, by successive steps or stages
Related words and phrases:
Two colleagues are talking ...
Colleague 1: When are we going to roll out the new system?
Colleague 2: Rather than initiate the new system all at once, we are going to implement it by degrees.
Colleague 1: Meaning?
Colleague 2: As each component is ready, we will implement it. We will spend some time testing, tweaking and improving each component before implementing the next component.
Colleague 1: And gradually we will have a fully working system?
Colleague 2: Exactly.
Two friends are talking ...
Friend 1: I heard you broke up with your girlfriend. What happened?
Friend 2: I don't think we could point to any one thing and say that it was the cause. Rather we just let the relationship slip away by degrees. We stopped calling each other as frequently. We became less interested in each other's careers. We became lackadaisical about keeping our regular Friday night dates. Just a slow erosion over time.
Friend 1: Sorry to hear that.
There is no gerund form for by degrees.
1) ... drawn by husky dogs towards the North Pole, chillier and chillier by degrees, frostbitten, snow-blind but determined.
2) It's a story that gets weirder and more disturbing by degrees, until you want to yell: "What's the matter with these people?"
3) ... "and that workers would then use their" political supremacy to wrest, by degrees, all capital from the bourgeoisie.
4) ... describes her book in economic terms, chronicling "civil breakdown by degrees" as people's savings and ability to earn money dissipates.
5) It's plain and simple. You're killing yourself by degrees!
6) My wife's the reason anything gets done, She nudges me towards promise by degrees.
7) This is how democracy gets undermined -- by inches and by degrees.
8) This, cautiously begun, and by degrees formed into a habit, ...
9) ... initially as British subjects, standing for the anthem, but by degrees we emerge as inheritors of a complicated Republic, ...
10) His decision arrived by degrees. In the half-dozen years since he left his job as a financial trader in ...
11) ... we could by degrees refashion the economy to meet our people's needs.
12) The film itself is an elegant portrait of a long-lived marriage that is revealed by degrees to be based on a lie.
13) ... more engaged analysis and interpretation, and more sorting of facts by degrees of importance.
14) As the tractor moves away into the distance, the noise dying by degrees, ...
15) ... where we slide towards surrender by degrees and not realising what is really happening or just how much is being lost.
16) An explosive finish, but it built to it by degrees.
17) Instead, they were led down that path by degrees, and those who radicalized them convinced them that they were becoming purer, ...
18) ... to thaw him in cold water, then to lay him in blankets and by degrees and by friction to give him warmth, ...
19) And Europe will only evolve by degrees, not in leaps and bounds.
20) Is it not cruel to let our city die by degrees, stripped of all her proud monuments, until there will be nothing left of ...