noun, often attributive
\ ˈklas How to pronounce class (audio) \
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
c : a collection of elements (such as numbers or points) : set sense 21
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.

Examples of class in a Sentence

Noun 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. Verb I would class that suggestion as helpful, so let's make a note of it. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Bringing together alumni, current teachers, parents and community members, the afternoon event included class photos, school and church tours, music, a raffle drawing and food and drink. Eve Sampson, Detroit Free Press, 31 July 2022 This year's freshman class will include more Arkansas students than ever before, Thomas said. Stacy Ryburn, Arkansas Online, 31 July 2022 Hence, the spectacle of class-warrior Democrats like Mr. Gottheimer demanding that Congress pass a massive tax cut for the rich. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 31 July 2022 Adrian Posse, a Florida four-star, will join the Tigers’ 2024 class. Nick Alvarez |, al, 30 July 2022 When the annual ceremony's 45th class of honorees was announced earlier this month, Grant spoke about the recognition in a statement. Charmaine Patterson,, 30 July 2022 The other two cornerbacks in OSU’s 2021 signing class -- the ones ranked dozens of spots higher than Burke? Nathan Baird, cleveland, 30 July 2022 In 1975, the first animal law class was offered at Seton Hall Law School in New Jersey., 30 July 2022 The San Antonio-class warship, in Port Everglades since Monday, is capable of carrying 350 sailors, 650 Marines, and an intimidating collection of expensive military attack vehicles. Chris Perkins, Sun Sentinel, 30 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb One of his teachers had to remind him not to bring his gun to class. Matt Schudel, Washington Post, 10 July 2022 Sconces on either side of your front door can really class up the place. Gabrielle Hondorp, Popular Mechanics, 5 May 2022 This story, though, doesn’t class the movie up so much as weigh it down. Noel Murray, Los Angeles Times, 29 Apr. 2022 The complaint claims that Crumbley, accused of shooting classmates and killing four, brought bullets to class the day before the shooting and displayed them. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, 19 Jan. 2022 With a voice as placid as the room was disturbed, Ms. Mercado spent a half-hour urging restraint, then sent Ms. Perez to class while making a mental note to keep watch, uncertain if the instinct to fight had flamed out or would reignite. New York Times, 11 Apr. 2022 In stark contrast, there’s little on MDNA that would even class as second-tier Madonna. Jon O'brien, Billboard, 23 Mar. 2022 The campus was relatively quiet along Kennedy Boulevard, but plenty of students were seen walking to class in their school colors, and wearing big smiles on their faces. Robert Aitken Jr., USA TODAY, 18 Mar. 2022 At one point, FBI agents escorted Heller to class for her protection. David Klepper, ajc, 16 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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 entry 3

Learn More About class

Dictionary Entries Near class

clasp nut


class A

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for class

Last Updated

3 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Class.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for class


\ ˈklas How to pronounce class (audio) \

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 How to pronounce class (audio) \

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



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

More from Merriam-Webster on class

Nglish: Translation of class for Spanish Speakers

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Odd Habits and Quirks

  • image1926873504
  • Which of the following best describes an easily irritated person?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!