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.

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Encourage your child to first locate classrooms and learn teacher names and class routines, then prioritize reconnecting with friends, Strahan advises. Robin Roenker, USA TODAY, 1 Aug. 2021 Enjoy panoramic views from your private pier and plunge pool, and world class diving and snorkeling. Liz Cantrell, Travel + Leisure, 1 Aug. 2021 Amendments will often be offered and voted on while the nation sleeps to meet this artificial deadline that is convenient for the political class but not for informing the public. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 1 Aug. 2021 Students have shied away from certain class discussions., 1 Aug. 2021 Arkansas law says trafficking of minors is a class Y felony, punishable by a prison term of from 10 to 40 years or life. Tom Sissom, Arkansas Online, 1 Aug. 2021 On Sunday morning, Story honored his longtime friend by making his public commitment to Auburn’s 2022 class, choosing the home-state Tigers over UCF. Tom Green |, al, 1 Aug. 2021 Among the students enrolled in Hobel’s Wilderness 1 class on the day NBC News attended were three children under the age of 9. Ethan Sacks, NBC News, 1 Aug. 2021 The Yankees’ beleaguered pitching staff had to be thrilled with the acquisitions of class-act Anthony Rizzo and raw-power Joey Gallo, raising the possibility of Gallo, Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton hitting 500-foot homers in consecutive at-bats. San Francisco Chronicle, 31 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb His order comes as school districts across the state and the country are navigating the safest way to return students to class as a fresh surge of Covid-19 cases is fueled by the dangerous and highly contagious Delta variant. Christina Maxouris, CNN, 30 July 2021 Volunteers drove the students to class in the morning and back home at the end of the day. Graciela Mochkofsk, The New Yorker, 27 July 2021 Not everyone can just show up to class the day of an exam and pass without having to study night after night. Kimberly Wilson, Essence, 26 July 2021 Smith, at the time, was entering his senior year at the University of Utah, majoring in economics and taking classes from Spencer’s grandpa, Kay Hunt, who would take Spencer to football and basketball games and sometimes bring him to class with him. Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune, 25 Apr. 2021 Brewers games, walking to class on Marquette's campus in fall ... Hannah Kirby, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 14 Apr. 2021 With these different immigration histories come different relationships to education, to class to everything. Los Angeles Times, 24 Mar. 2021 The issue of when to return students to class on a full-time basis has been a contentious one, with many parents arguing there was no reason to delay reopening the schools. Karie Angell Luc,, 16 Mar. 2021 Contra its own intentions, the Up series stands as a monument to the importance of character in determining outcomes, not to class as destiny. Kyle Smith, National Review, 11 Jan. 2021

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 entry 3

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Dictionary Entries Near class

clasp nut


class A

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Statistics for class

Last Updated

3 Aug 2021

Cite this Entry

“Class.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Aug. 2021.

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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 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

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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

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


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