noun, often attributive
\ ˈklas \
plural classes

Definition of class

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a body of students meeting regularly to study the same subject Several students in the class are absent today.
b : the period during which such a body meets
c : a course of instruction is doing well in her algebra class
d : a body of students or alumni whose year of graduation is the same donated by the class of 1995
2a : a group sharing the same economic or social status the working class
b : social rank especially : high social rank the classes as opposed to the masses
c : high quality : elegance a hotel with class
3 : a group, set, or kind sharing common attributes: such as
a : a major category in biological taxonomy ranking above the order and below the phylum or division
b : a collection of adjacent and discrete or continuous values of a random variable
d : a property of a geometric curve that is equal to the number of tangents that can be drawn to it through any point not on the curve A curve is said to be of the nth degree or order when any right line meets it in n points and of the nth class when n tangents can be drawn to it through any assumed point.— George Salmon
4 : a division or rating based on grade or quality a class B movie
5 : the best of its kind the class of the league
6 : a data type in object-oriented programming that consists of a group of objects (see object entry 1 sense 6a) with the same properties and behaviors and that can be arranged in a hierarchy with other such data types


classed; classing; classes

Definition of class (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

: classify She was classed as a part-time worker.

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Examples of class in a Sentence


There are 20 students in the class. Several people in the class are absent today. This class is really difficult. He will be teaching an American history class next semester. The college offers classes in computer programming and engineering. She is taking a class on psychology. What classes are you taking this semester? I have an English class this morning. My class got out early today. I have already missed two classes.


I would class that suggestion as helpful, so let's make a note of it.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In their teens and 20s, the sisters, now 46, relished the confusion, playing tricks on boyfriends, swapping high school classes, and generally perplexing people. Katharine K. Zarrella, Harper's BAZAAR, "Kate Spade's New Creative Director Opens Up About Honoring the Late Designer's Legacy," 30 Jan. 2019 In the 1950s, the Soviets planned a similarly giant nuclear torpedo, known as the T-15, to carry a warhead in the Tsar Bomba-class, mainly because there was no other means of delivering it. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "The Truth Behind Russia’s 'Apocalypse Torpedo'," 18 Jan. 2019 Universal Pictures To be sure, there are a few scenes in which the movie overcomes this setup, to say something real about how expectations based on race, class, and identity can wreak havoc on a person’s soul. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Green Book builds a feel-good comedy atop an artifact of shameful segregation. Yikes.," 7 Jan. 2019 The project has also strongly committed to education through museum exhibits, classes, and outreach from Maropeng Visitor Centre in the Cradle of Humankind to the Perot Museum of Science and Nature in Dallas. Lydia Pyne, Ars Technica, "Rising Star found a new species—now it wants to find a new way for paleoanthropology," 20 Dec. 2018 Remember, the lowest fares will be Norwegian's LowFare class, which only includes a carry-on. Meredith Carey, Condé Nast Traveler, "12 Days of Deals: U.S. to Paris, Amsterdam from $120," 17 Dec. 2018 Why is there not a class-action lawsuit against all the bad actors in this horror show? WSJ, "A Parkland, Fla., Father’s Lonely Crusade," 18 Jan. 2019 Like others in its class, Huawei’s converted wholesale to USB-C, with a pair of ports on the device, one on either side. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Hands on: Huawei's Matebook 13 shrinks the Matebook X Pro into a 'Whiskey Lake'-powered laptop," 7 Jan. 2019 As of early November, the original class-action case still appears to be open. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "The biggest beauty trend in 2018? Makeup brands behaving badly," 18 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Show up to class several minutes beforehand and say hello to the instructor. SELF, "13 Things to Know Before Signing Up for Your First HIIT Workout Class," 3 Jan. 2019 Her death was reported on widely in Indian media, and the police investigation has taken numerous turns since, including, at one point, classing her death as a possible case of murder. Swati Gupta, CNN, "Indian politician Shashi Tharoor facing charges over wife's death," 15 May 2018 Ostensibly, when faced with a student population riddled with fear for even going to class, and a record high number of deadly school shootings, the school administration should consider strategies to keep students safe. Anthony Gerace, Teen Vogue, "Betsy DeVos Says She Wants to Keep Schools Safe and Equitable. Her Policies Tell a Different Story," 28 Aug. 2018 Up next, shocking violence south of the border and an incredible video of Antifa classing with ICE agents, wow. Fox News, "Watters' Words: A tale of two tours," 15 July 2018 Failure to remove the abusive ads will cause Chrome to block every ad on the site — regardless of whether they are classed as abusive or not. Jon Porter, The Verge, "Chrome will soon ad-block an entire website if it shows abusive ads," 5 Nov. 2018 The island, which is classed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, hosted the Jaguar Land Rover Driving Challenge, which is part of the Invictus Games. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Just Traveled to Cockatoo Island Wearing the Coolest Shades," 20 Oct. 2018 On Tuesday, students at Great Mills High School returned to class for the first time since a student shot and killed a former girlfriend and then himself. Washington Post, "Maryland Senate panel approves school safety standards bill," 4 Apr. 2018 If the subway is a disaster, that’s no excuse for being late, whether to class or a work call. New York Times, "Falling for the Lure of the Stage. The Backstage.," 18 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'class.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of class


1583, in the meaning defined at sense 3


1642, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for class

Noun and Verb

French classe, from Latin classis group called to military service, fleet, class; perhaps akin to Latin calare to call — more at low

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Learn More about class

Statistics for class

Last Updated

10 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for class

The first known use of class was in 1583

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More Definitions for class



English Language Learners Definition of class

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a group of students who meet regularly to be taught a subject or activity
: a series of meetings in which students are taught a particular subject or activity : a course of instruction
: one of the meetings in which students are taught a particular subject or activity



English Language Learners Definition of class (Entry 2 of 2)

: to decide that (someone or something) belongs to a particular group


\ ˈklas \

Kids Definition of class

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a group of students who are taught together regularly I'm the youngest in my class.
2 : one of the meetings of students being taught I'm late for class.
3 : a course of instruction a class in science
4 : a group of students who graduate together the senior class
5 : a group of people in a society who are at the same level of wealth or social status the working class
6 : a group of related living things (as plants or animals) that ranks above the order and below the phylum or division in scientific classification Birds and mammals form two separate classes in the animal kingdom.
7 : a category (as of goods or services) based on quality


classed; classing

Kids Definition of class (Entry 2 of 2)

: classify “… I cannot be classed with ordinary insects …”— L. Frank Baum, The Marvelous Land of Oz


noun, often attributive
\ ˈklas \

Medical Definition of class

: a group, set, or kind marked by common attributes or a common attribute especially : a major category in biological taxonomy ranking above the order and below the phylum or division the class Mammalia

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Legal Definition of class

: a group of persons or things having characteristics in common: as
a : a group of persons who have some common relationship to a person making a will and are designated to receive a gift under the will but whose identities will not be determined until sometime in the future — see also class gift at gift
b : a group of securities (as stocks or bonds) having similar distinguishing features (as voting rights or priority of redemption)
c : a group whose members are represented in a class action
e : a group of crimes forming a category distinguished by a common characteristic (as the use of violence or the requirement for a maximum penalty) murder is a class A felony

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More from Merriam-Webster on class

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with class

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for class

Spanish Central: Translation of class

Nglish: Translation of class for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of class for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about class

Comments on class

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


esteemed in general opinion

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