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.

2 Answers 2


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.

  • 1
    As a hillwalker, I'd go with eased - or possible shallowed
    – HorusKol
    Commented Feb 2, 2011 at 1:05
  • 4
    Or, if you want to be funny about it, you could say the hill degrades.... :-)
    – Hellion
    Commented Feb 2, 2011 at 1:12
  • @Hellion: Good one. :)
    – Robusto
    Commented Feb 2, 2011 at 1:16
  • 1
    @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
    Commented Feb 2, 2011 at 5:16

The second derivative of elevation drops below zero?


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