Close on the rear of this came a couple of cabs, the forerunners of a long procession of flying vehicles, going for the most part to Chalk Farm station, where the North-Western special trains were loading up, instead of coming down the gradient into Euston.
There are no more uses of "gradient" in the book.
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That section of the road has a five-degree gradient.
...a "social gradient of health" exists even among the rich: the outlandishly wealthy live healthier and longer than the rich, who live better than the merely comfortable.
Laura Blue -- Time, "Narrowing World Health Disparities", 8/28/08