clas·​sic | \ ˈkla-sik How to pronounce classic (audio) \

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

Early versions used the classic 6-sided die, but centuries later, players were frustrated by its limitations, especially with percentages. William Herkewitz, Popular Mechanics, "Why D&D Modernized Its Magic for a New Generation of Fantasy," 1 Sep. 2019 Again, another classic romance movie to watch if your week is dragging on. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "8 TV Shows and Movies That Will Kick Your September Off Right," 1 Sep. 2019 There's really nothing better than curling up with a mug of hot cocoa and watching a classic Christmas movie with the fam during the holiday season. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "Freeform's '25 Days of Christmas' 2019 Schedule Is Reportedly Making TV History," 29 Aug. 2019 Lewis and Galecki’s time on The Conners marked their first reunion on-screen since playing siblings in the 1989 classic National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Claudia Harmata,, "Johnny Galecki Teases Return to The Conners After Ending The Big Bang Theory," 25 Aug. 2019 One of the best classic rock double features of the year is set for the Concord Pavilion on Aug. 24. Jim Harrington, The Mercury News, "Jim the Critic’s Top Bay Area Concert Picks of the Week (Aug. 22-28)," 15 Aug. 2019 Stand your ground: Uber driver in Florida fatally shoots man in 'classic stand your ground case,' says sheriff The teens appeared in court Tuesday afternoon and a Lake County judge set bail at $1 million each. N'dea Yancey-bragg, USA TODAY, "Homeowner shot a 14-year-old during burglary attempt. The 5 other teens with him were charged with murder," 14 Aug. 2019 Though the heir to the animal kingdom resides in Africa, in the recent reimagining of the animated classic, Simba’s appearance and movements were based on a lion cub at the Dallas Zoo named Bahati. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "Disney Based Simba from The Lion King on this Dallas Zoo Lion Cub," 24 July 2019 Disney's new Christmas in July collection has fa-la-la-lots of ornaments, featuring all of your favorite characters from classic Disney hits like Snow White and The Seven Dwarves to a newer Captain Marvel figurine to hang on your tree. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Disney Just Dropped an Entire Christmas Ornament Collection, And I Already Feel the Holiday Spirit," 23 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Outside of that, Nelsons leads six more programs, heavy on the German and Russian classics with a few new pieces scattered here and there. Zoë Madonna,, "Boston’s 15 must-see classical music groups for fall," 5 Sep. 2019 Lebenzon has been tapped to work on Top Gun: Maverick, Paramount and Skydance’s sequel to the 1980s classic, giving him a closing-of-the-circle moment. Carolyn Giardina, The Hollywood Reporter, "Original 'Top Gun' Editor Returning to Work on Sequel (Exclusive)," 30 Aug. 2019 NBC News’ Dasha Burns unboxes the new riff on the old classic. Petra Cahill, NBC News, "Puerto Ricans brace for Dorian, a royal Brexit twist and SNL shakes up its cast: The Morning Rundown," 28 Aug. 2019 The Southern classic is finished with a combination of beef stock, water and butter that gives the dish extra oomph. Tom Sietsema, Washington Post, "Market Lunch may be the only thing in town that brings both parties to the table," 28 Aug. 2019 Some BookTubers specialize in spirited reviews; there's an account that posts live-action illustrations of C.S. Lewis essays, and another that analyzes the classics in gangster-speak. Dallas News, "Bookstagrammers and BookTubers changing the way people read," 26 Aug. 2019 The engineering deck in System Shock 2, the classic Looking Glass game released 20 years ago today, is one of the most brilliantly nerve-wracking virtual spaces ever created. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "System Shock 2 helped define survival horror — but it’s still in a league of its own," 11 Aug. 2019 The best sellers are the classics though – the Mackin Melt, Short Rib Melt and BBQ Pork Melt. Catie Wegman,, "Grilled cheese, please: Where to find South Florida’s craziest creations," 23 July 2019 The animated 1992 classic also joins the Walt Disney Signature Collection on 4K and Blu-ray September 10. Ale Russian,, "Aladdin and Jasmine Duet on Original Song 'Desert Moon' in Deleted Scene from Disney Remake," 24 Aug. 2019

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

11 Sep 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 How to pronounce classic (audio) \

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 How to pronounce classic (audio) \
variants: or classical \ -​i-​kəl How to pronounce classical (audio) \

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).


formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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