# Degree vs. Fahrenheit — What's the Difference?

By Tayyaba Rehman — Published on August 25, 2023
A degree is a unit of measurement for angles or temperature, while Fahrenheit is a specific scale for measuring temperature, primarily used in the U.S.

## Key Differences

A degree is a versatile term in the English language. It signifies a unit of measurement, which can pertain to angles, temperature, or even educational attainment. Fahrenheit, on the other hand, is specifically tied to temperature. This term denotes a temperature scale that designates the freezing point of water as 32 degrees and the boiling point as 212 degrees under standard atmospheric conditions.
In the context of mathematics, a degree refers to the measurement of angles. For instance, a full circle comprises 360 degrees. However, when speaking of Fahrenheit, it does not have any relation to angles. Instead, it remains solely in the realm of temperature measurement, offering a unique framework different from Celsius or Kelvin scales.
When discussing academic achievements, the word degree can refer to educational milestones like a bachelor's degree, master's degree, or doctorate. Fahrenheit doesn’t fit into this academic narrative. It remains confined to the realm of thermometry, helping Americans understand daily temperatures or the warmth of their ovens.
In the world of science, particularly in heat and temperature measurement, the term degree is a unit. It acts as a numerical value indicating a relative measure of temperature. Fahrenheit, however, specifies the system. It tells us that the temperature reading is based on the scale where 32 is freezing and 212 is boiling for water.

## Comparison Chart

### Definition

A unit of measurement.
A temperature scale.

### Application

Used in angles, temperature, and education.
Exclusively for temperature.

### Origin

Latin "de gradus" meaning 'a step'.
Named after Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit.

### Common Usage

Global, across multiple disciplines.
Primarily in the U.S. for temperature.

°
°F

## Compare with Definitions

#### Degree

A unit of measurement for angles.
A right angle is 90 degrees.

#### Fahrenheit

A temperature scale with 32° as freezing point of water and 212° as its boiling point.
The weather report says it's 75 degrees Fahrenheit today.

#### Degree

A unit indicating temperature on a scale.
Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius.

#### Fahrenheit

Relating to, or measured according to this scale.
The oven is preheated to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

#### Degree

A level or amount of something.
The degree of difficulty for the task was high.

#### Fahrenheit

A system to represent temperature, especially in the U.S.
Americans usually discuss temperature in Fahrenheit.

#### Degree

A title awarded by a university.
She earned a degree in physics.

#### Fahrenheit

Named after Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit, its inventor.
Fahrenheit introduced his temperature scale in the early 18th century.

#### Degree

(Grammar) One of the forms used in the comparison of adjectives and adverbs. For example, tall is the positive degree, taller the comparative degree, and tallest the superlative degree of the adjective tall.

#### Fahrenheit

Distinct from Celsius and Kelvin scales.
While Europe uses Celsius, the U.S. largely uses Fahrenheit.

#### Degree

Social or official rank
Persons of unequal degree

#### Fahrenheit

German physicist who invented the mercury thermometer and developed the scale of temperature that bears his name (1686-1736)

#### Degree

A stage of rank or privilege; social standing.

#### Fahrenheit

Conforming to the scale used by Gabriel Daniel Fahrenheit in the graduation of his thermometer; of or relating to Fahrenheit's thermometric scale. Used as an alternative to celsius.

#### Degree

(genealogy) A ‘step’ in genealogical descent.

#### Fahrenheit

The Fahrenheit scale ( or ) is a temperature scale based on one proposed in 1724 by the physicist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit (1686–1736). It uses the degree Fahrenheit (symbol: °F) as the unit.

#### Degree

A specific identifiable position in a continuum or series or especially in a process;
A remarkable degree of frankness
At what stage are the social sciences?

#### Fahrenheit

Of or relating to a temperature scale that registers the freezing point of water as 32° and the boiling point as 212° at one atmosphere of pressure. See Table at measurement.

#### Degree

The highest power of a term or variable

#### Degree

The amount, level, or extent to which something happens or is present
A question of degree
A degree of caution is probably wise

#### Degree

A unit of measurement of angles, one ninetieth of a right angle or the angle subtended by one three-hundred-and-sixtieth of the circumference of a circle
Set at an angle of 45 degrees

#### Degree

A unit in any of various scales of temperature, intensity, or hardness
Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius

#### Degree

One of a series of steps in a process, course, or progression; a stage
Proceeded to the next degree of difficulty.

#### Degree

A step in a direct hereditary line of descent or ascent
First cousins are two degrees from their common ancestor.

#### Degree

Relative social or official rank, dignity, or position.

#### Degree

Relative intensity or amount, as of a quality or attribute
A high degree of accuracy.

#### Degree

The extent or measure of a state of being, an action, or a relation
Modernized their facilities to a large degree.

#### Degree

(Mathematics) A planar unit of angular measure equal in magnitude to 1/360 of a complete revolution.

#### Degree

A unit of latitude or longitude, equal to 1/360 of a great circle.

#### Degree

The greatest sum of the exponents of the variables in a term of a polynomial or polynomial equation.

#### Degree

The exponent of the derivative of highest order in a differential equation in standard form.

#### Degree

An academic title given by a college or university to a student who has completed a course of study
Received the Bachelor of Arts degree at commencement.

#### Degree

A similar title conferred as an honorary distinction.

#### Degree

(Law) A division or classification of a specific crime according to its seriousness
Murder in the second degree.

#### Degree

A classification of the severity of an injury, especially a burn
A third-degree burn.

#### Degree

One of the seven notes of a diatonic scale.

#### Degree

A space or line of the staff.

#### Degree

A stage of proficiency or qualification in a course of study, now especially an award bestowed by a university or, in some countries, a college, as a certification of academic achievement. (In the United States, can include secondary schools.)
She has two bachelor's degrees and is studying towards a master's degree.

#### Degree

(geometry) A unit of measurement of angle equal to 360 of a circle's circumference.
A right angle is a ninety-degree angle.
Most humans have a field of vision of almost 180 degrees.

#### Degree

(physics) A unit of measurement of temperature on any of several scales, such as Celsius or Fahrenheit.
180 degrees Fahrenheit is equivalent to 100 degrees Celsius.
Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius.

#### Degree

(algebra) The sum of the exponents of a term; the order of a polynomial.
A quadratic polynomial is a polynomial of degree 2.

#### Degree

The dimensionality of a field extension.
The set of complex numbers constitutes a field extension of degree 2 over the real numbers.
The Galois field $\operatorname\left\{GF\right\}\left(125\right) = \operatorname\left\{GF\right\}\left(5^3\right)$ has degree 3 over its subfield $\operatorname\left\{GF\right\}\left(5\right).$

#### Degree

(graph theory) The number of edges that a vertex takes part in; a valency.

#### Degree

(logic) The number of logical connectives in a formula.

#### Degree

(surveying) The curvature of a circular arc, expressed as the angle subtended by a fixed length of arc or chord.

#### Degree

(geography) A unit of measurement of latitude and longitude which together identify a location on the Earth's surface.

#### Degree

(grammar) Any of the three stages (positive, comparative, superlative) in the comparison of an adjective or an adverb.

#### Degree

A step on a set of stairs; the rung of a ladder.

#### Degree

An individual step, or stage, in any process or scale of values.

#### Degree

The amount that an entity possesses a certain property; relative intensity, extent.
To what degree do the two accounts of the accident concur?

#### Degree

A step, stair, or staircase.
By ladders, or else by degree.

#### Degree

One of a series of progressive steps upward or downward, in quality, rank, acquirement, and the like; a stage in progression; grade; gradation; as, degrees of vice and virtue; to advance by slow degrees; degree of comparison.

#### Degree

The point or step of progression to which a person has arrived; rank or station in life; position.

#### Degree

Measure of advancement; quality; extent; as, tastes differ in kind as well as in degree.
The degree of excellence which proclaims genius, is different in different times and different places.

#### Degree

Grade or rank to which scholars are admitted by a college or university, in recognition of their attainments; also, (informal) the diploma provided by an educational institution attesting to the achievement of that rank; as, the degree of bachelor of arts, master, doctor, etc.; to hang one's degrees on the office wall.
The youth attained his bachelor's degree, and left the university.

#### Degree

A certain distance or remove in the line of descent, determining the proximity of blood; one remove in the chain of relationship; as, a relation in the third or fourth degree.
In the 11th century an opinion began to gain ground in Italy, that third cousins might marry, being in the seventh degree according to the civil law.

#### Degree

Three figures taken together in numeration; thus, 140 is one degree, 222,140 two degrees.

#### Degree

State as indicated by sum of exponents; more particularly, the degree of a term is indicated by the sum of the exponents of its literal factors; thus, a2b3c is a term of the sixth degree. The degree of a power, or radical, is denoted by its index, that of an equation by the greatest sum of the exponents of the unknown quantities in any term; thus, ax4 + bx2 = c, and mx2y2 + nyx = p, are both equations of the fourth degree.

#### Degree

A 360th part of the circumference of a circle, which part is taken as the principal unit of measure for arcs and angles. The degree is divided into 60 minutes and the minute into 60 seconds.

#### Degree

A division, space, or interval, marked on a mathematical or other instrument, as on a thermometer.
It has been said that Scotsmen . . . are . . . grave to a degree on occasions when races more favored by nature are gladsome to excess.

#### Degree

A position on a scale of intensity or amount or quality;
A moderate degree of intelligence
A high level of care is required
It is all a matter of degree

#### Degree

An award conferred by a college or university signifying that the recipient has satisfactorily completed a course of study;
He earned his degree at Princeton summa cum laude

#### Degree

A unit of temperature on a specified scale;
The game was played in spite of the 40-degree temperature

#### Degree

A measure for arcs and angles;
There are 360 degrees in a circle

#### Degree

The seriousness of something (e.g., a burn or crime);
Murder in the second degree
A second degree burn

#### Degree

An academic rank conferred by a college or university after examination or after completion of a course, or conferred as an honour on a distinguished person
A degree in zoology

#### Degree

A unit division of a temperature scale.

#### Degree

One's relative state or experience; way, manner.

#### Degree

A step or stage in a process.
The situation escalated to a dangerous degree.

## Common Curiosities

#### How many degrees are there in a full circle?

A full circle comprises 360 degrees.

#### Can the word degree refer to educational qualifications?

Yes, degree can refer to academic milestones, such as a bachelor's or master's.

#### What is a degree in the context of measurement?

A degree is a unit of measurement for angles or temperature.

#### Is there a symbol for degree?

Yes, the symbol for degree is °.

#### Can the term degree be used outside of temperature and angles?

Yes, it can also signify a level, extent, or intensity of something.

#### Who introduced the Fahrenheit scale?

The Fahrenheit scale was introduced by Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit.

#### Is Fahrenheit a unit or a scale?

Fahrenheit is a specific scale for measuring temperature.

#### Is Fahrenheit used globally?

Fahrenheit is primarily used in the U.S., while other regions use Celsius.

#### At what value does water freeze on the Fahrenheit scale?

Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

#### What differentiates the Fahrenheit scale from the Celsius scale?

They have different reference points; water freezes at 32°F and boils at 212°F, while in Celsius, it freezes at 0°C and boils at 100°C.

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