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

Of course, in classic Quantic Dream fashion this news was delivered by a, uh...a CGI android lady? Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: The sordid tale of Starbreeze's stumbles, Overwatch players learn piano (with guns)," 1 Feb. 2019 Concerts in the Court This weekly concert series features a diverse lineup of local and regional bands from country, jazz to classic rock and everything in between. Mary Lou Cruz,, "Wellington area events July 18-28," 13 July 2018 But my absolute favorite part of the game is the inclusion of 20 different classic F1 cars, dating back to the 1972 Lotus 72. Kyle Orland, Ars Technica, "Ars Technica’s best games of 2018," 24 Dec. 2018 And even though his look has evolved since his debut in Steamboat Willie, one thing remains true: Mickey Mouse is classic. Marci Robin, Allure, "Dose of Colors' Brand-New Mickey Mouse Makeup Collection Is Already Selling Out," 13 Nov. 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Their 2011 debut album, See the Light, went on to become an instant EDM classic, with Ruiz’s smooth velvety voice over throbbing beats mesmerizing global dance floors for more than a decade. Jasmin Hernandez, Harper's BAZAAR, "Nomi Ruiz on Making Art That Means Something," 17 Jan. 2019 The first Men in Black film (1997) was an instant classic and pretty much cemented Will Smith's status as a mega-star. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Thor Ragnarok stars reunite, kick alien butt in MiB International trailer," 20 Dec. 2018 An American classic gets a major overhaul A $380 million project to transform one of the world’s most iconic monuments is scheduled for a grand opening in St. Louis on Tuesday. Editors, USA TODAY, "Fourth of July travel, Thailand cave search, World Cup: 5 things to know Tuesday," 3 July 2018 While Nas’ debut was deemed an instant classic in hip-hop circles, his sophomore project showed aspirations for radio play, with The Trackmasters giving the album a commercial sheen. Billboard, "Every Nas Album Ranked: Critic's Picks," 15 June 2018 The song became an American classic in 1942, in a dramatic scene in the film Casablanca. Len Lyons,, "Playing piano at Dana-Farber, he sees improvisation is not just for jazz," 12 June 2018 Grease Sing-Along: Gorton kicks off their summer series with an American classic, their Grease sing-along, sure to be fun for the whole family. 7 p.m. Friday, Gorton Community Center, 400 E. Illinois Rd., Lake Forest, $10, 847-234-6060. Lake County News-Sun, "Calendar: Summer Arts Festival this weekend in Lake Bluff," 11 June 2018 Yew Dell's Fairy Forest has become an instant family classic. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, "Tomato — the 'luscious beauty' of the garden and how to fight diseases," 8 June 2018 An exquisite classic with flawless customizations under the hood and in its pinstriping, the beautiful Chevrolet pulls a matching trailer that carried an equally detailed custom lowrider bicycle. Heidi Van Horne, Houston Chronicle, "Automobile Driving Museum hosts first Bombs Car Show," 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

13 Feb 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 \

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).


to deny responsibility for

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