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

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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

What the season resolutely lacked was the sort of cautious complacency that smothers so much of the classical world. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "Meredith Monk’s “ATLAS” and the L.A. Phil’s Extraordinary Season," 24 June 2019 Prize-winning pianist/composer Helen Sung captivates listeners with imaginative artistry that integrates the jazz and classical worlds. Chuck Yarborough, cleveland.com, "40th annual Tri-C JazzFest features ‘talk tents,’ cooking demos and, of course, lots of music," 23 June 2019 Throughout the classical world spread the belief that these priestesses channeled prophecies from Apollo himself. National Geographic, "Once sacred, the Oracle at Delphi was lost for a millennium. See how it was found.," 12 Mar. 2019 Given these uncertainties it’s unclear which socks Alice and Bob should pick in the morning — at least in a classical world. Quanta Magazine, "The Universe’s Ultimate Complexity Revealed by Simple Quantum Games," 5 Mar. 2019 Most royal and imperial courts of the classical world were also awash with poison. Amanda Foreman, WSJ, "Poison and Politics," 6 Sep. 2018 This synchronization is common in the classical world. Chris Lee, Ars Technica, "Qubits can sync if they have more than two possible values," 7 Aug. 2018 The scrolls represent the only intact library known from the classical world, an unprecedented cache of ancient knowledge. Henrik Knudsen, Smithsonian, "Buried by the Ash of Vesuvius, These Scrolls Are Being Read for the First Time in Millennia," 26 June 2018 Wilson himself has had the most far-reaching relationship with the classical world. Morgan Enos, Billboard, "The Beach Boys Reflect on Their Royal Philharmonic Collaboration: 'It's Like a Punctuation Mark on an Entire Career'," 8 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of classical

1546, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

History and Etymology for classical

Latin classicus

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Statistics for classical

Last Updated

5 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for classical

The first known use of classical was in 1546

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More Definitions for classical

classical

adjective

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

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Comments on classical

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