clas·si·fi·ca·tion | \ˌkla-sə-fə-ˈkā-shən \

Definition of classification 

1 : the act or process of classifying

2a : systematic arrangement in groups or categories according to established criteria specifically : taxonomy

b : class, category

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Other Words from classification

classificatory \ˈkla-sə-fi-kə-ˌtȯr-ē, kla-ˈsi-fə-; ˈkla-sə-fə-ˌkā-tə-rē \ adjective

Examples of classification in a Sentence

the classification of new species job classifications for government workers

Recent Examples on the Web

The maximum height allowed under the new zoning classification would be 40 feet. Jeff Rumage, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Condos proposed at former church property in Thiensville," 23 May 2018 But four years later, the assessor felt Ogden wasn't really operating a true agriculture business and changed the classification back to residential. Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Supreme Court accepts case challenging agricultural tax breaks," 13 July 2018 The classification is opposed by much of the nation’s medical and scientific communities. Gary Robbins,, "Consumers are being flooded with dubious claims about the health benefits of marijuana," 9 July 2018 Phoenix Shadow Mountain boys basketball, with coach Mike Bibby a magnet for top talent for out-of-state transfers, is in 4A, the third-largest classification. Richard Obert, azcentral, "Analysis: Five things the Arizona Interscholastic Association needs to get done," 3 July 2018 With the historic district classification, Trinity plans to preserve the exterior of its buildings but is largely allowed to renovate interior spaces. Lauren Caruba, San Antonio Express-News, "Trinity added to national historic registry," 6 June 2018 While preliminary because post-Katrina improvements were not finished, the classification remains accurate to this date, a corps New Orleans District spokesman confirmed recently. Mark Schleifstein,, "New Orleans area levee system 'high risk,' and 'minimally acceptable', Corps says," 22 May 2018 The Level 3 classification puts Turkey in the company of Sudan and Haiti, and one step below no-go zones like Afghanistan and North Korea. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, "Is It Safe to Visit Istanbul Right Now?," 11 May 2018 Facebook then allows advertisers to specify to whom to show specific ads based on those classifications. Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, "Here's how Russian manipulators were able to target Facebook users," 10 May 2018

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

1767, in the meaning defined at sense 2a

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Last Updated

6 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for classification

The first known use of classification was in 1767

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English Language Learners Definition of classification

: the act or process of putting people or things into groups based on ways that they are alike

: an arrangement of people or things into groups based on ways that they are alike


clas·si·fi·ca·tion | \ˌkla-sə-fə-ˈkā-shən \

Kids Definition of classification

1 : the act of arranging into groups of similar things

2 : an arrangement into groups of similar things a classification of plants


clas·si·fi·ca·tion | \ˌklas-(ə-)fə-ˈkā-shən \

Medical Definition of classification 

1 : the act or process of classifying

2 : systematic arrangement of animals and plants in groups or categories according to established criteria specifically : taxonomy sense 2

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Legal Definition of classification 

: the act or method of distributing into a class or category according to characteristics also : a class or category determined by characteristics — see also suspect classification

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a state of commotion or excitement

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