noun \ˈkast also ˈkäst\

: one of the classes into which the Hindu people of India were traditionally divided

: a division of society based upon differences of wealth, rank, or occupation

Full Definition of CASTE

:  one of the hereditary social classes in Hinduism that restrict the occupation of their members and their association with the members of other castes
a :  a division of society based on differences of wealth, inherited rank or privilege, profession, occupation, or race
b :  the position conferred by caste standing :  prestige
:  a system of rigid social stratification characterized by hereditary status, endogamy, and social barriers sanctioned by custom, law, or religion
:  a specialized form (as the worker of an ant or bee) of a polymorphic social insect that carries out a particular function in the colony
caste·ism \ˈkas-ˌti-zəm\ noun

Examples of CASTE

  1. He was from a higher caste.
  2. <a member of the upper caste>

Origin of CASTE

Portuguese casta, literally, race, lineage, from feminine of casto pure, chaste, from Latin castus
First Known Use: 1613

Rhymes with CASTE

CASTEISM Defined for Kids


noun \ˈkast\

Definition of CASTE for Kids

:  one of the classes into which the Hindu people of India were formerly divided
:  a division or class of society based on wealth, rank, or occupation
:  social rank :  prestige


Next Word in the Dictionary: castelessPrevious Word in the Dictionary: cast downAll Words Near: caste
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears