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

Also from the underthings department is this pair of classic (and 33 percent off) Spanx. The Editors, The Cut, "41 Things on Sale You’ll Actually Want to Buy: From Miu Miu to Missoni," 13 July 2018 Franklin’s focus reflected both the popular USIA choices of classic American literature, such as Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, as well as practical texts and nonfiction considered useful for developing nations. Amanda Laugesen, Smithsonian, "This Cold War-Era Publishing House Wanted To Share American Values With the World," 13 July 2018 Come for the classic romance and stay for the newfound laughs. Anchorage Daily News, "Coming up: a new brewery debut, Spectrum music festival and Bear Paw," 13 July 2018 Netflix have commissioned a series adaptation of Tonke Dragt’s Dutch children's classic The Letter for the King. Scott Roxborough, The Hollywood Reporter, "Netflix to Adapt Dutch Kids Book 'The Letter for the King' as Original Series," 12 July 2018 The skills competition included the classic home run derby and a challenge for which infield can turn a series of double plays the fastest. Kyle Mcfadden, The Aegis, "At Blue Crab tournament, Ripken brothers continue youth initiative," 12 July 2018 Is there anything more brilliantly straightforward than the classic tote? Max Berlinger,, "LeBron James carries a $41,000 bag. Here's your chance to get into the man-bag game with these picks," 12 July 2018 This is the place to go to see classic, layered plays. Sarah Bahr, Indianapolis Star, "Ultimate Indiana bucket list: 50+ things to do in Indianapolis and around the state," 11 July 2018 All of the pieces are available in that most classic of color schemes: black and white., "Stylist Christine Centenera Wants To Change The Way You Shop," 10 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And that final episode — Paige got off the train! — was an instant classic, both surprising and satisfying. Glenn Whipp,, "Emmys 2018: Five races we'll be watching when nominations are announced," 9 July 2018 Like a great many girl of the late ’80s/early ’90s, I was raised on Sweet Valley High, The Baby-Sitters Club, and the Judy Blume canon (Starring Sally J. Freedman as Herself is an underrated classic). Michelle Ruiz, Vogue, "Change Your Life, One Bad Phone Habit at a Time," 5 July 2018 There is the classic, Dixie, and new favorites like Birdie, and some generally adorable names like Lula, Gertie, and Polly. Melissa Locker, ajc, "These 1918 baby names are due for a comeback," 2 July 2018 There is the classic, Dixie, and new favorites like Birdie, and some generally adorable names like Lula, Gertie, and Polly. Melissa Locker, Southern Living, "These 1918 Baby Names Are Due For a Comeback," 2 July 2018 Ultimately the hubbub around the question just proves that there are some classics of American cuisine that may have regional or even familial differences, but remain mainstays that can bring us all together. Raisa Bruner, Time, "People Have Very Strong Feelings About the Correct Approach to Making a PB&J," 29 June 2018 The Kobe burger at Tannin is amazing, a double Winstead is a timeless classic, the double at Pigwich is amazing, and the dress-your-own at the Flea Market is great. Sam Mellinger, kansascity, "Mellinger Minutes: No M.D. for Chiefs' LDT, finding Royals hope (and an All-Star)," 26 June 2018 This colorful and refreshing punch is a classic inspired by the abundance of cranberries in Massachusetts. The Courier-Journal, "Make an easy, breezy summer cocktail for a crowd and get back to the party," 25 June 2018 Most of the six burgers offered are classics, but each one is a double, including the ghost pepper jack cheeseburger with spicy homemade pickles and chipotle habanero slaw. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "House-ground burgers, sausage planned at new Mass Ave. restaurant Krueger's Tavern," 19 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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Phrases Related to classic

classic case

destined to become a classic

Statistics for classic

Last Updated

11 Sep 2018

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

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).


the setting in which something occurs

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