He was from a higher caste.
a member of the upper caste
Recent Examples on the WebGadling, a 53-year-old lawyer and father of two, is a member of the Dalit community, the lowest rung of India’s caste hierarchy.—Washington Post, 6 July 2021 Travancore’s caste system was rigid even by the standards of the 19th century, and the majority of the population lived in conditions that the British administrators thought were cruel.—Nilakantan Rs, Quartz, 5 Jan. 2023 One strange feature of our present economic order—especially visible in an educated and economically productive city such as Boston—is the solidification of a caste of hard-working professionals at the top of the income pyramid.—Charlie Tyson, BostonGlobe.com, 2 Dec. 2022 Born in 1954, Frazier grew up at a time when the country still struggled to see Black people as full citizens rather than a subordinate racial caste.—Douglas Haynes, Forbes, 28 Feb. 2021 Despite its origins in Hinduism, the caste system has since spread to other South Asian religious communities.—Harmeet Kaur, CNN, 7 Dec. 2022 On a macro scale, though, forming this collective mirrors the work Poitier and Harry Belafonte did in their time, talking about the injustice of the caste system in Hollywood.—Angelique Jackson, Variety, 5 Dec. 2022 Harvard University instituted caste protections for student workers last year as part of its contract with the Harvard Graduate Student Union.—Harmeet Kaur, CNN, 7 Dec. 2022 But the push for caste-equity has been sweeping schools and institutions all over the U.S. in the last few years.—Sakshi Venkatraman, NBC News, 5 Dec. 2022 See More
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'caste.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
borrowed from Portuguese casta "breed, lineage, family, hereditary social class in India," of uncertain origin
Portuguese casta has exact counterparts in Spanish and Catalan casta, none of which are attested before the fifteenth century. The word has traditionally been taken as descending from a feminine noun derivative of Latin castus "free from (the thing named), untainted by vice, pure" (see chaste), though this etymology has been resisted by Joan Coromines, who points out that the earliest uses do not imply purity (see Diccionario crítico etymológico castellano e hispánico, s.v.). The phrase hacer casta (hacer "to do, make") means "to breed (animals)"—likewise, the phrase para casta "for breeding." The word would seem to refer to both the act of breeding and the succession of things bred. Coromines is surely correct in noting that Latin castus has influenced the later semantic development of casta. However, his hypothesis that an unattested Gothic word cognate with Old Icelandic kǫs, kǫstr "heap, pile" is the source of Iberian Romance casta is not convincing, The senses of the English noun cast entry 2 that he sees as most relevant, such as "a set of characters or persons" or "characteristic quality," are all late developments from the verb meaning "to throw" and can scarcely be traced back to proto-Germanic.