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

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of classic in a Sentence

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 The plants exhibit classic symptoms of herbicide (weed killer) damage, clusters of small, stringy leaves at the nodes. oregonlive, "Need tips on shade trees suitable for small backyards? Ask an expert," 28 June 2020 The classic film Gone with the Wind was pulled from HBO Max and reuploaded with an introduction providing the historical and racial context of the film. Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner, "Tina Fey asks NBC to pull 30 Rock episodes featuring actors wearing blackface," 23 June 2020 Cinemark’s series of classic movies will cost just $5 for adults and $3 for children. cleveland, "Back to the movies: Cinemark, Regal Cinemas set reopening dates in July," 18 June 2020 The streaming platform, which is owned by WarnerMedia, made its debut on May 27, and features a vast library of classic movies. Mary Colurso |, al, "‘Gone With the Wind’ pulled from streaming library at HBO Max," 10 June 2020 The Criterion Channel, the acclaimed film subscription service, took down the paywall on several classic films about the African American experience, most of them by black filmmakers, including Oscar Micheaux, Julie Dash and Maya Angelou. Chris Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Blood Is at the Doorstep,' film about Dontre Hamilton and his family, available for free on YouTube for a limited time," 6 June 2020 The iconic retailer to the American businessperson—and U.S. presidents—since 1818 has filed for bankruptcy, following a wave of other classic brands struggling with the hit to both in-store shopping and customers’ finances. Alan Murray, Fortune, "J&J’s CEO says creating a vaccine is only ‘part of the puzzle’," 9 July 2020 The filmmaker masters the art of the classic narrative and the science of captivating audio and stunning visuals. oregonlive, "The Oregonian/OregonLive wins 4 Society of Features Journalism awards," 9 July 2020 In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, John Schneider and Tom Wopat, who played Bo and Luke Duke on the show, respectively, shared their thoughts on criticism of the classic TV series' 1969 Dodge Charger's Confederate flag decal. Benjamin Vanhoose,, "Original Dukes of Hazzard Stars React to Confederate Flag Controversy: 'The Car Is Innocent'," 9 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Their muffuletta bread and seasonal Mardi Gras King Cakes were sourced from the New Orleans classic, Gambino’s Bakery. Savannah Mehrtens, Houston Chronicle, "Business roundups: Popular Kingwood eatery Zachary’s Cajun Cafe closes its doors amid coronavirus," 13 July 2020 The two performed a lovely version of The Beatles' classic together. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "The Best Naya Rivera Performances on Glee That Will Never Be Forgotten," 11 July 2020 A half-dozen varieties of the Hawaiian classic Loco Moco anchor the diner-style menu, but gems like the Pulehu ribs and the Kalua hash hide throughout. Naomi Tomky, Fortune, "The foodie haven in Hawaii you need to know about now," 1 July 2020 The three-minute clip saw actors, comedians and singers including Kristen Wiig, Jimmy Fallon, Natalie Portman, Will Ferrell, Sia and Norah Jones, taking turns to sing a line of Lennon's classic in what was supposed to be a show of solidarity. Toyin Owoseje, CNN, "'We were in that first wave of creative diarrhea' -- Chris O'Dowd says celebrities' 'Imagine' cover was a mistake," 1 July 2020 What better way to prove your Nintendo fan cred by combining the company’s newest console with an undisputed classic from its past? Popular Science, "The best Nintendo Switch controllers for solo or party play," 2 June 2020 Indeed, Doudna believes the coronavirus has pushed society toward an inflection point similar to the one Hemingway described in his classic—except this is one that begets, miraculously enough, prosperity rather than insolvency. Robert Hackett, Fortune, "3 ways science will never be the same after COVID-19," 7 July 2020 The Volkswagen classic reminds the author of the similar one he was offered by a co-worker in the late 1990s for only $1500, but turned down. Roberto Baldwin, Car and Driver, "1962 VW Samba 23-Window Microbus for Sale on Bring a Trailer, but Check Out That Price," 4 July 2020 The shell of a scallop has the classic fanned out shape so symbolic of maritime décor. Mary Tomlinson, Southern Living, "What Are Scallops? Everything You Need to Know," 30 June 2020

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about classic

Time Traveler for classic

Time Traveler

The first known use of classic was in 1597

See more words from the same year

Statistics for classic

Last Updated

24 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Classic.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for classic


How to pronounce classic (audio)

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on classic

What made you want to look up classic? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


Test Your Vocabulary

July 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • papercraft sunset
  • Which is a synonym of mien?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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