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I seek a word to describe the reduction in steepness of a slope. The context is climbing a hill that is less steep further up.

I have rejected "levelled" and "flattened" because they suggest the slope became near to horizontal when in fact it remained steep.

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You could say the steepness of the slope eased, or became more gradual, or if you're feeling a little adventurous you might go the adjective-to-verb route and say it gentled.

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As a hillwalker, I'd go with eased - or possible shallowed – HorusKol Feb 2 '11 at 1:05
Or, if you want to be funny about it, you could say the hill degrades.... :-) – Hellion Feb 2 '11 at 1:12
@Hellion: Good one. :) – Robusto Feb 2 '11 at 1:16
@HorusKol: or also “shallowed out”, perhaps? We certainly use that in my family, and while as far as I know that’s mainly an idiosyncratic usage, it’s a pretty transparent one — I’ve used it with other friends and they haven’t batted an eyelid. You can also just say the slope eased — you don’t need to explicitly say the steepness of the slope in that construction. – PLL Feb 2 '11 at 5:16

The second derivative of elevation drops below zero?

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