classic

1 of 2

adjective

clas·​sic ˈkla-sik How to pronounce classic (audio)
1
a
: 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
3
a
: historically memorable
a classic battle
b
: noted because of special literary or historical associations
Paris is the classic refuge of expatriates
4
a
: 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

classic

2 of 2

noun

1
: a literary work of ancient Greece or Rome
studied the classics in college
2
a
: 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

Example Sentences

Adjective 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. Noun 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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
These super-chic earrings are trendy and classic at the same time. Laura Denby, Peoplemag, 18 Jan. 2023 The 10- to 12-kilometer course starts and ends in Ashland and is groomed for classic and skate skiing. Chelsey Lewis, Journal Sentinel, 13 Jan. 2023 Our splurge-worthy pick for the best bed frame combines classic and contemporary design. Erica Reagle, Better Homes & Gardens, 13 Jan. 2023 But a new shape has established itself as the perfect mix of angular and oval, trendy and classic. Melanie Paukner, Glamour, 6 Jan. 2023 Taking in classic or experimental jazz can encourage conversation and a form of music therapy. Stephanie Toone, ajc, 6 Jan. 2023 But after getting an education in alternative and classic rock while working at Tower Records, Cuomo unlearned most of his heavy metal guitar technique to write Weezer’s early albums. Al Shipley, SPIN, 6 Jan. 2023 The event that launched in 2019 will take place from May 5-7 on the city’s waterfront and feature sets from a wide variety of rock, pop, reggae, hip-hop and classic rock acts. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, 6 Jan. 2023 Great comic actors having a ball inside a twisty murder mystery that feels both classic and contemporary. Robert Lloyd, Anchorage Daily News, 1 Jan. 2023
Noun
The Netflix drama — the first-ever German adaptation of the Erich Maria Remarque’s German anti-war classic — picked up nine Oscar nominations Tuesday, nearly tying the record for most-ever nominations for a non-English-language film. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Jan. 2023 This spicy, buttery, citrusy dish is an old-school classic. Christopher Michel, Country Living, 23 Jan. 2023 So too do the book’s recipes blend the classic with the unconventional. Lara Johnson-wheeler, Vogue, 22 Jan. 2023 The Cowboys offensive lineman recalls his first Oklahoma drill, a classic if somewhat antiquated exercise in which two players converge until cracking in contact, at a Fort Worth youth football practice. Dallas News, 21 Jan. 2023 This slouchy logo sweatshirt is an understated classic. Aemilia Madden, Harper's BAZAAR, 16 Jan. 2023 There are franchises like Halloween, where the original is such a bonafide classic that no sequel could hope to top it. Brendan Morrow, The Week, 13 Jan. 2023 The film, which releases in theaters on Friday, is a reimagining of the cult classic 1990 film of the same name, which starred rap duo Kid ‘n Play as high schoolers throwing a party while their parents are gone. Time, 13 Jan. 2023 From cult classic Donnie Darko to recent gems like Ambulance, Jake Gyllenhaal always delivers intense, emotional work. Wesley Stenzel, EW.com, 12 Jan. 2023 See More

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.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

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

First Known Use

Adjective

1597, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Noun

1684, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of classic was in 1597

Dictionary Entries Near classic

Cite this Entry

“Classic.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/classic. Accessed 1 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition

classic

1 of 2 adjective
clas·​sic ˈklas-ik How to pronounce classic (audio)
1
a
: serving as a standard of excellence
a classic literature
b
: fashionable year after year : traditional, enduring
a classic design
2
: of or relating to the ancient Greeks or Romans or their culture
3
a
: notable as the best of its kind
a classic film
b
: notable as the most basic or typical of its kind
a classic example

classic

2 of 2 noun
1
: a literary work of ancient Greece or Rome
2
: a great work of art
also : its author
3
: something regarded as perfect of its kind
4
: an event that has become a tradition
a football classic

Medical Definition

classic

adjective
clas·​sic ˈklas-ik How to pronounce classic (audio)
variants or classical
: 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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