clas·​si·​fi·​ca·​tion | \ ˌkla-sə-fə-ˈkā-shən How to pronounce classification (audio) \

Definition of classification

1 : the act or process of classifying
2a : systematic arrangement in groups or categories according to established criteria specifically : taxonomy

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Other Words from classification

classificatory \ ˈkla-​sə-​fi-​kə-​ˌtȯr-​ē How to pronounce classificatory (audio) , kla-​ˈsi-​fə-​ How to pronounce classificatory (audio) , ˈkla-​sə-​fə-​ˌkā-​tə-​rē How to pronounce classificatory (audio) \ adjective

Examples of classification in a Sentence

the classification of new species job classifications for government workers

Recent Examples on the Web

These classifications are based on a school’s enrollment numbers. Nathan Joyce, The Seattle Times, "WIAA votes in two big changes to high-school classification system," 28 Jan. 2019 Here's a snapshot from the paper showing a handful of images and AlexNet's top-five classifications: AlexNet was able to recognize that the first image contained a mite even though the mite was a small shape at the very edge of the image. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "How computers got shockingly good at recognizing images," 18 Dec. 2018 Pot’s criminal classification at the federal level has other serious ramifications for marijuana policy even in places where state law says the drug is legal. German Lopez, Vox, "Marijuana is illegal under federal law even in states that legalize it," 14 Nov. 2018 What's more, the WHO's classification system for Zika is currently under review and revision, while Fiji has not reported any cases of Zika in 2018, and just one in 2017, according to CNN. Emily Wang, Condé Nast Traveler, "Meghan Markle Is Pregnant (And Not Changing Her Royal Tour for Zika)," 15 Oct. 2018 Instead, the team wanted to bring some order to the classification of these animals. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Two New Yellow-Bellied Bats May Have Been Found in Kenya," 13 July 2018 Koster said out of the 109,000 emails seized and screened, the defense team has taken issue with the classification of 38 communications. Craig Lyons, Post-Tribune, "Prosecutors defend process used to screen indicted Portage mayor's emails," 25 June 2018 MGT Consulting Group was hired for $22,000 in March 2017 to compare Kendall County’s compensation and job classification system with those used in other area counties. Zeke Maccormack, San Antonio Express-News, "Higher cost of living in Kendall County presents compensation challenges for government entities," 17 May 2018 In the 1950s, German climatologist Rudolf Geiger updated Köppen's climate map, creating what is sometimes referred to as the Köppen-Geiger climate classification system. Louise Matsakis, WIRED, "The Most-Cited Authors on Wikipedia Had No Idea," 1 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

24 Mar 2019

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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 How to pronounce classification (audio) \

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 How to pronounce classification (audio) \

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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Comments on classification

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


grandiloquent, ostentatious, or bombastic

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