Definition of class in English:


Line breaks: class
Pronunciation: /klɑːs


  • 1A set or category of things having some property or attribute in common and differentiated from others by kind, type, or quality: it has good accommodation for a hotel of this class a new class of heart drug
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    • Aristotle recognizes different sociopolitical classes or categories of women and men.
    • Things, like predicates, come in different sorts; and if there are ten classes or categories of predicate, there are ten classes or categories of things.
    • It is not possible to show that every instance of the subject class has this property.
  • 1.1 Biology A principal taxonomic grouping that ranks above order and below phylum or division, such as Mammalia or Insecta.
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    • These phenotypic classes are discussed below, with reference to previously identified zebrafish melanocyte mutants.
    • The species are presented alphabetically within taxonomic classes.
    • Within the large arthropods we found that birds consistently reduced numbers from all taxonomic classes.
  • 1.2British A division of candidates according to merit in a university examination: he received a third class in literae humaniores
  • 2 [mass noun] A system of ordering society whereby people are divided into sets based on perceived social or economic status: people who are socially disenfranchised by class [as modifier]: the class system
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    • But the underlying economic and class systems were exactly the same as in Western capitalist countries.
    • The old two-tier class system will become three-tier and the most disadvantaged will have been sold down the river.
    • The central characteristic of the society we live in is that it is divided by class.
  • 2.1 [count noun] A social division based on social or economic status: the ruling class
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    • The English ruling class had men of high calibre to call upon.
    • Poor people's energies should be refocused in united actions against the capitalist ruling class.
    • They portrayed the ruling capitalist class as all-powerful and able to exploit, manipulate and deceive workers at will.
  • 2.2 (the classes) • archaic The rich or educated.
  • 2.3 informal Impressive stylishness in appearance or behaviour: she’s got class—she looks like a princess
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    • Critics say he is a mercenary and a poor trainer, but there have been flashes of class in his brief appearances in claret and amber.
    • Liverpool fans must distinguish between clusters of defeats and real decline in class.
    • In my opinion it just felt right, and captured a real sense of class and style.
    style, stylishness, elegance, chic, sophistication, taste, refinement; quality, excellence, distinction, merit, prestige; French savoir faire, savoir vivre
    humorous couth
  • 3A group of students or pupils who are taught together: selected pupils act as representatives for the whole class
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    • The basic problem in state schools is not that pupils are taught together in classes which are too large.
    • I was really privileged being in the last class of graduate students taught by my theory of international law guru.
    • Teachers in Queensland schools are required to teach classes of 30 students.
    form, study group, school group, set, stream, band; year; North American grade
  • 3.1An occasion when pupils meet with their teacher for instruction; a lesson: I was late for a class
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    • The strike went ahead although teachers did not suspend classes at high schools.
    • Just like a school teacher has their class planned out for the next day, so must you.
    • The way in which students enter and leave the art room can affect their learning as well as the art teacher's preparation for classes.
    lesson, period, period of instruction; seminar, tutorial, workshop
  • 3.2A course of instruction: I took classes in Indian music
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    • One nurse had not worked in nursing for a few years and was taking the class as a refresher course.
    • This last course is a class for art education majors and art majors interested in teaching.
    • Being able to review the coursework from other classes is a practical benefit that faculty members find appealing.
  • 3.3chiefly North American All of the college or school students of a particular year: the class of 1999
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    • No doubt their absence has muted the impact of the class of 2004 on the college game.
    • Students from the class of 1964 along with their past teachers had a great night of craic and memories.
    • The information was based on an analysis of the numbers from the class of medical students set to begin their studies in the fall of 2004.


[with object] (often be classed as) Back to top  


[attributive] informal Back to top  


class A (or B or C) drug

An illegal narcotic drug classified as being of the most harmful and addictive (or a less harmful and addictive) kind, possession or sale of which incurs corresponding legal penalties.
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  • He was jailed for 30 months for possession of class A drugs, namely heroin and cocaine, with intent to supply.
  • He was jailed for nine years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs and possession of cocaine and cannabis.
  • People taking class A drugs (cocaine and heroin) cost society millions of pounds a year.

class act

informal A person or thing displaying impressive and stylish excellence: the writing and the look of the magazine make it a real class act
More example sentences
  • The leader ran on like a real class act and finished really well to clock 30: 04.
  • All of the drivers were real class acts and did not consider us a bother.
  • But she didn't let this bother her at all and she proved to be a real class act.

a class apart

Much better than others of a similar kind: his songs were definitely a class apart
More example sentences
  • For Ricky Ponting's Australians were simply a class apart.
  • Imperious, elegant, unruffled, he was a class apart.
  • Among professional institutions, the new apex institutions are considered to be in a class apart.

in a class of its (or one's) own

Unequalled, especially in excellence or performance: British advertising is in a class of its own for inventiveness
More example sentences
  • For talent, performance, courage, survival and luck, both are in a class of their own.
  • This guy is in a class of his own, clearly taking pleasure in the performance as his fingers dance - blending blues, folk, rock and hillbilly fervour with a voice that echoes with conviction.
  • You are in a class of your own - don't let anyone knock you down!


mid 16th century (in sense 3 of the noun): from Latin classis 'a division of the Roman people, a grade, or a class of pupils'.

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Word of the day milord
Pronunciation: mɪˈlɔːd
used to address an English nobleman