clas·​sic | \ ˈkla-sik How to pronounce classic (audio) \

Definition of classic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : serving as a standard of excellence : of recognized value classic literary works a classic case study on hysteria
b : traditional, enduring classic designs
c : characterized by simple tailored lines in fashion year after year a classic suit
2 : of or relating to the ancient Greeks and Romans or their culture : classical
3a : historically memorable a classic battle
b : noted because of special literary or historical associations Paris is the classic refuge of expatriates
4a : authentic, authoritative a classic study of eyewitness accounts
b : typical a classic example of chicanery a classic error
5 capitalized : of or relating to the period of highest development of Mesoamerican and especially Mayan culture about a.d. 300–900



Definition of classic (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a literary work of ancient Greece or Rome studied the classics in college
2a : a work of enduring excellence His manual of biology has become a classic among scientists. also : its author He had already become a classic many years before his death.
b : an authoritative source
3 : a typical or perfect example His march through the wilderness of Maine has been regarded as a classic of perseverance.
4 : a traditional event a football classic

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Examples of classic in a Sentence


She prefers classic furniture designs. It's a classic suit that won't go out of style. I like the car's classic contours. The battle was a classic example of poor planning.


That car is a classic. I like to read the classics. He teaches classics at the local university. She studied classics in college. an interest in the classics The football game is a Thanksgiving classic.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Ida Tarbell’s father was ruined by Standard Oil, which motivated her to write her classic work exposing the company’s transgressions. Scott Sherman, The New York Review of Books, "A Muckraker’s Progress," 17 June 2019 The show promises hundreds of antique, classic and custom vehicles and includes a cruise night, parade and more. Phil Marty,, "Walk to Canada, watch a PGA tournament in Illinois and more Midwest summer events," 14 June 2019 Casa Manco offers classic and more inventive versions of pizza alla pala, the traditional, thick Roman takeaway pizza, all sold by weight. Will Hawkes, Houston Chronicle, "He promised his son Rome — would it deliver?," 14 June 2019 Celtic Fest Ohio Celtic Fest has an extensive lineup featuring the best names in classic and modern Celtic music. Noelle Zielinski,, "Summer festivals guide 2019," 12 June 2019 In 1874, the naturalist and whaling captain Charles Scammon wrote a classic work on marine mammals in the Pacific Northwest. Sallie Tisdale, Harper's magazine, "Catechism of the Waters," 10 June 2019 Dustin Hoffman was nominated for an Oscar for best actor for originating the dual roles of Michael Dorsey and Dorothy Michaels in the classic 1982 movie of the same name. Paul Grein, Billboard, "10 Records That Were Set at the Tony Awards," 10 June 2019 While contemporary technology gives him more control of the tones, his sense of how to frame the composition is classic. Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, "In the galleries: Whimsy rendered starkly, in black and white," 7 June 2019 Gregg Hunter, who spent four easygoing decades on the radio in Los Angeles talking about restaurants, music, television and classic movies, died May 15 in Los Angeles, his rep, Michael Sinclair, said. Mike Barnes, The Hollywood Reporter, "Gregg Hunter, Longtime Radio Host in Los Angeles, Dies at 87," 7 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And that’s just in fashion—the 1972 dark comedy, Pink Flamingos, is a cult classic for its bizarre, bold plot. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Everything You Need to Know About the Met Gala’s Wild Flamingo Centerpiece," 6 May 2019 It's been a classic for the fragrance house ever since the scent was created in 1912. Roxanne Adamiyatt, Town & Country, "6 Royal-Worn Perfumes That Are Fit for Non-Princesses Too," 30 Mar. 2019 CamelBak is a classic in hydration packs and the Rim Runner doesn’t disappoint. James Lynch, Popular Mechanics, "Best Hydration Packs to Keep You Going on Your Next Adventure," 28 Mar. 2019 All That Jazz in turn, telling the behind-the-scenes story of the cinematic classic. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "How to Watch All That Jazz, the Bob Fosse Movie Featured in the Fosse/Verdon Finale," 29 May 2019 The film doesn't officially arrive in theaters until May 24th, but this revival of a Disney soundtrack classic should be more than enough to hold fans over. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Zayn and Zhavia Ward’s Version of "A Whole New World" From Disney’s Live-Action "Aladdin" Has Arrived," 9 May 2019 However, in my version of the aquatic classic, aptly named Splashing Out Against The Patriarchy, Madison is not just living for her relationship. Marie Claire, "Feminist Writers Re-Write the Endings to 3 Classic Rom-Coms," 15 Feb. 2019 Aclassic is a book that never grows old, but a translation of a classic is not quite as timeless. Martin Riker, WSJ, "‘Hell’ Review: The Wholly Lost Below," 1 Feb. 2019 Fox, 32, has starred in both two film adaptations of the beloved cartoon classic: 2014’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and its sequel, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, which was released in 2016. Maria Pasquini,, "Turtle Time! Megan Fox’s Son Journey Sweetly Pays Tribute to His Mother in Adorable New Photo," 29 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'classic.' 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 classic


1597, in the meaning defined at sense 2


1684, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for classic


French or Latin; French classique, from Latin classicus of the highest class of Roman citizens, of the first rank, from classis — see class entry 1

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Statistics for classic

Last Updated

19 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for classic

The first known use of classic was in 1597

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More Definitions for classic



English Language Learners Definition of classic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

used to say that something has come to be considered one of the best of its kind
used to say that something is an example of excellence
used to describe something that has been popular for a long time



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

: something that has been considered to be excellent for a long time
: the study of the literature, language, and culture of ancient Greece and Rome
: a traditional event


clas·​sic | \ ˈkla-sik How to pronounce classic (audio) \

Kids Definition of classic

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : serving as a model of the best of its kind It's a classic story for children.
2 : fashionable year after year a classic style
3 : of or relating to the ancient Greeks and Romans or their culture classic sculptures
4 : being typical of its kind a classic mistake



Kids Definition of classic (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : a written work or author of ancient Greece or Rome
2 : a great work of art a classic of literature
3 : something long regarded as outstanding of its kind a classic car


clas·​sic | \ ˈklas-ik How to pronounce classic (audio) \
variants: or classical \ -​i-​kəl How to pronounce classical (audio) \

Medical Definition of classic

: standard or recognized especially because of great frequency or consistency of occurrence the classic triad of urethritis, conjunctivitis, and arthritis signaling Reiter's syndromeEmergency Medicine

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More from Merriam-Webster on classic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for classic

Spanish Central: Translation of classic

Nglish: Translation of classic for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of classic for Arabic Speakers

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