classical

adjective
clas·​si·​cal | \ ˈkla-si-kəl How to pronounce classical (audio) \

Definition of classical

2a : of or relating to the ancient Greek and Roman world and especially to its literature, art, architecture, or ideals classical civilization
b : versed in the classics a classical scholar
3a : of or relating to music of the late 18th and early 19th centuries characterized by an emphasis on balance, clarity, and moderation
b : of, relating to, or being music in the educated European tradition that includes such forms as art song, chamber music, opera, and symphony as distinguished from folk or popular music or jazz
b(1) : of or relating to a form or system considered of first significance in earlier times classical Mendelian genetics
(2) : not involving relativity, wave mechanics, or quantum theory classical physics
c : conforming to a pattern of usage sanctioned by a body of literature rather than by everyday speech
5 : concerned with or giving instruction in the humanities, the fine arts, and the broad aspects of science a classical curriculum

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of classical in a Sentence

the classical preparation of a ham for Easter a writer celebrated for his classical profiles of eminent Victorians
Recent Examples on the Web Such frivolities were soon superseded in his factory by exceptionally inventive wares combining a refined classical style and technical innovation. Catherine Bindman, The New York Review of Books, "Teapots, Silver, and Tapestry: The Met’s New British Galleries," 17 Apr. 2020 His father, George Marek, was vice president and general manager of RCA Victor Record Division and a biographer of classical composers. BostonGlobe.com, "Richard Marek, editor of Hemingway, Baldwin and Ludlum," 26 Mar. 2020 Technically, the order defines the classical style more broadly than columns. Clay Chandler, Fortune, "Trump’s architectural vision for Washington, D.C. looks like Ancient Rome," 11 Feb. 2020 Its protagonist, played with ramrod conviction by Gary Cooper, is a dogmatic modern architect, Howard Roark, who would prefer to starve than to build in the classical style. Mark Lamster, Dallas News, "An executive order to ‘make federal buildings beautiful again’ is a needless distraction," 7 Feb. 2020 Beethoven, even more so than Bach or Mozart, is the classical composer whose legacy remains most unassailable. The Economist, "Prisoner’s dilemma A bold American composer updates “Fidelio”," 9 Jan. 2020 Mantovani himself seems to tend toward classical styles. Flora Charner, CNN, "Rock music is linked to abortions, says new Brazilian culture official," 5 Dec. 2019 The massive and impressive stone temple, built in classical Roman style and sacred to the cult of Claudius the Emperor, had been constructed at Camulodunum to commemorate his conquest. Richard Hingley, National Geographic, "Big, bad Boudica united thousands of ancient Britons against Rome," 22 Oct. 2019 The pianist combines his experience in advocacy, music education and music history to provide educational resources and focus on teaching about classical composers of African descent. Domenica Bongiovanni, Indianapolis Star, "Vote for your favorite 'High Art' billboard in Central Indiana," 3 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'classical.' 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 classical

1546, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for classical

Latin classicus

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about classical

Time Traveler for classical

Time Traveler

The first known use of classical was in 1546

See more words from the same year

Statistics for classical

Last Updated

23 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Classical.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/classical. Accessed 27 May. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for classical

classical

adjective
How to pronounce classical (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of classical

: of a kind that has been respected for a long time
: of or relating to the ancient Greek and Roman world and especially to its language, literature, art, etc.
: relating to music in a European tradition that includes opera and symphony and that is generally considered more serious than other kinds of music

classical

adjective
clas·​si·​cal | \ ˈkla-si-kəl How to pronounce classical (audio) \

Kids Definition of classical

1 : of a kind that has long been considered great classical ballet
2 : of or relating to the ancient Greek and Roman world and especially to its language and arts
3 : relating to music in a European tradition that includes opera and symphony and that is generally considered more serious than other kinds of music
4 : concerned with a general study of the arts and sciences a classical education

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on classical

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

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Obscure Shapes

  • a pile of three dimensional shapes in green
  • Something that is ooid is shaped like:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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