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

The classes are relatively small (around 40 students each) and are full of laughter. Sarah Butrymowicz, Marie Claire, "Refugee Girls Want to Change the World. Will We Let Them?," 7 Jan. 2019 School is now in session at King's Dominion and the classes are unlike anything that's in a normal school. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Everything We Know About Lana Condor's New Show "Deadly Class"," 4 Jan. 2019 The dance classes with 75-year-old Japanese choreographer Yuichi Sugiyama are especially fun. Daisy Finer, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Golden Door Is the World's Most Iconic Spa," 21 Dec. 2018 Qn: If Thompson and Hill don’t work out, that draft class is a bit thin. Seattle Times Sports Staff, The Seattle Times, "Live chat rewind | Why didn’t the Seahawks cut their kicker? How to beat KC?," 18 Dec. 2018 Suddenly, this class of great motorcycles is in danger. Matthew Jancer, Popular Mechanics, "Motorcycle Makers Are Bailing Out of Building Supersport Bikes. Not Kawasaki.," 12 Dec. 2018 Individual MasterClass classes are available for $90 each. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "T&C Exclusive: Get a Sneak Peek At James Suckling's New Online Wine Appreciation Class," 11 Dec. 2018 About 60 of that school’s incoming first-year students take a gap year, 10% of the class and double the number from a decade ago. Melissa Korn, WSJ, "Welcome to College. Now Take a Year Off," 25 Dec. 2018 But a year later, many of the students at the bottom of the class had made big learning gains: the share of students who could not read a single letter fell from 33 percent to 8 percent. Meagan Neal, Vox, "It’s hard to design good policies. This simple idea can help governments do it.," 21 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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 But when Padilla brought the wooden structure to class the next day, the students were amused., "Students check their devices at the cellphone hotel," 1 June 2018 In the media interview room Saturday, the Warriors, to class up the playoffs, piped in retro jazz between interview sessions. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, "McGee’s defense stands out at starting center against Spurs," 14 Apr. 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

13 Jan 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).


to settle judicially or to act as judge

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