Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

caste

play
noun \ˈkast also ˈkäst\

Simple Definition of caste

  • : 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

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of caste

  1. 1 :  one of the hereditary social classes in Hinduism that restrict the occupation of their members and their association with the members of other castes

  2. 2 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

  3. 3 :  a system of rigid social stratification characterized by hereditary status, endogamy, and social barriers sanctioned by custom, law, or religion

  4. 4 :  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

casteism

play \ˈkas-ˌti-zəm\ noun

Examples of caste in a sentence

  1. He was from a higher caste.

  2. <a member of the upper caste>



Origin and Etymology of caste

Portuguese casta, literally, race, lineage, from feminine of casto pure, chaste, from Latin castus


First Known Use: 1613

Rhymes with caste


CASTE Defined for Kids

caste

play
noun \ˈkast\

Definition of caste for Students

  1. 1 :  one of the classes into which the Hindu people of India were formerly divided

  2. 2 :  a division or class of society based on wealth, rank, or occupation

  3. 3 :  social rank :  prestige





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up caste? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a simplified speech bridging languages

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

confounded-person

Which is a synonym of indolent?

lazy melancholy philistine frenetic
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ