clas·​sic | \ ˈkla-sik \

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

The Duchess of Cambridge (and unofficial Duchess of Perfect Style) accessorized her church outing look with a perfect pair of black Prada heels, and a gorgeous (but classic and understated) black Jimmy Choo clutch, according to the Daily Mail. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Kate Middleton Wore a Gorgeous Blue Catherine Walker Coat and Matching Headband to Church in Sandringham," 6 Jan. 2019 After putting their spin on a High School Musical classic, our fave besties teamed up for Sabrina's music video, and according to the Girl Meets World star, more collabs are definitely in the future. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Sabrina Carpenter Wants to Team Up With Joey King for a Comedy," 28 Dec. 2018 After living in a neighborhood where house styles came in limited variations, the couple was drawn to the custom aspects of the Deza Estates house, as well as its classic post-and-beam construction. Samantha Weiss Hills, Curbed, "‘It was midcentury time capsule-meets-1980s’," 17 Dec. 2018 Watch the Peanuts ring in 1986 (while Charlie struggles to finish a book report before midnight), in the New Year's classic Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!, which will air on Tuesday, December 27 at 8pm E.T. on ABC. Maggie Maloney, Town & Country, "Mark Your Calendars! A Charlie Brown Christmas Will Air Tonight," 6 Dec. 2018 Coquille’s executive pastry chef, Hilary Prince — also in charge of the desserts at renowned Vancouver sister restaurant, L’Abbatoir — rethought every element of the classic banana cream construction. Bethany Jean Clement, The Seattle Times, "How to make the best banana cream pie ever," 4 Dec. 2018 And, as one of the most classic workouts around, running, often comes up in conversation. Alexa Tucker, SELF, "I Rarely Run More Than 3 Miles at a Time—But I Still Deserve to Call Myself a Runner," 27 Sep. 2018 The direct-to-consumer model — exemplified by DC Universe, which will offer original and classic TV series — also helps compete with broader streaming services. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Google earnings on deck, Trump warns Iran: ‘BE CAUTIOUS!’," 23 July 2018 Try Costanera’s classic Pisco Sour ($12), gently frothed and sprinkled with cinnamon, or the chicha version ($13), colored by sweet purple corn juice. Jeanne Cooper,, "Where to watch the sunset with a cocktail around Half Moon Bay," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Its chef, David Castro Hussong, a graduate of Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Eleven Madison Park, crafts elevated tasting menus that play with Mexican classics. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Next Great Food Scene, Beach Town, and More: The 2019 Trends We're Calling Now," 18 Dec. 2018 The supposed toxicity of this Christmas classic is nothing more than an old wives' tale, Dr. Wismer says. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "5 Holiday Plants That Are Way More Toxic Than Poinsettias to Cats and Dogs," 14 Dec. 2018 The Holiday Traditions collection will return, with classics like Vanilla Bean Noel, Winter Candy Apple, and Twisted Peppermint, and new additions like Spiced Gingerbread Swirl. Alexis Rhiannon, Teen Vogue, "Bath and Body Works Released 40 New Scents for the Holidays," 14 Nov. 2018 Its clubhouse features colorful murals and inspirational posters related to writing and social justice, as well as bookshelves stacked with classics and new writing. Christopher Johnston, The Christian Science Monitor, "Cleveland uses literature to empower youth, overcome social divides," 9 July 2018 The group earned 11 total Hot 100 entries, but reached No. 1 only with those two early-rock-era classics. Xander Zellner, Billboard, "Cardi B, Beyonce, Mariah Carey & More: The Elite Acts With at Least Two Hot 100 No. 1s From a Debut Album," 5 July 2018 The Straight Dope homepage will continue to be updated with recycled classics. Cecil Adams, Chicago Reader, "The final Straight Dope—as we know it," 27 June 2018 Some of the best soccer countries in the world like Brazil, Argentina and France stuck with the classics, and their uniforms look sharp as always. Matt Young, Houston Chronicle, "Ranking every country's 2018 World Cup kit," 13 June 2018 There are bowed shelves holding physics texts, warped shelves holding books about classical music, shelves crammed with literary classics — and an overburdened shelf holding the six books of popular science that Livio has written himself. Mary Carole Mccauley,, "Ahead of book talk, Baltimore Symphony science adviser explains the psychology of curiosity," 26 May 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

16 Jan 2019

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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

classics : the study of the literature, language, and culture of ancient Greece and Rome

: a traditional event


clas·​sic | \ ˈkla-sik \

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 \
variants: or classical \ -​i-​kəl \

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

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).


a complex dispute or argument

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