clas·​si·​fied | \ ˈkla-sə-ˌfīd How to pronounce classified (audio) \

Definition of classified

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : divided into classes or placed in a class classified ads
2 : withheld from general circulation for reasons of national security classified information



Definition of classified (Entry 2 of 2)

: an advertisement grouped with others according to subject usually used in plural

Examples of classified in a Sentence


The part of the report that includes classified information was removed before the report was made public.

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Police emails released under freedom of information laws reveal that investigators considered that Smethurst could be charged for publishing classified information. Washington Post, "Broadcaster demands Australia police drop probe of reporters," 11 July 2019 And then using the intelligence, so actually looking at the classified information, and really coming up with an assessment. CBS News, "Transcript: Ellen McCarthy talks with Michael Morell on "Intelligence Matters"," 10 July 2019 More: Accused spy Paul Whelan says he's being threatened, denied showers in Russian prison The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) alleges Whelan was caught in possession of a flash drive containing classified information at his hotel in Moscow. Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press, "Accused spy Paul Whelan makes plea from Russia, asks Trump to intervene," 20 June 2019 Assange faces 18 charges related to the leaking of classified information published by WikiLeaks. James Vincent, The Verge, "Julian Assange’s extradition to the US will be decided by the UK courts in 2020," 14 June 2019 In court on Thursday, government lawyer Andrew Berger told Registrar Annie Glover that the ABC had asked to change draft court orders agreed between the defense and prosecution for dealing with classified evidence that will arise during the trial. Washington Post, "Whistleblower returns to Australian court over Afghan leak," 27 June 2019 During Tuesday’s meeting, the council also approved new contracts for classified employees and supervisors. San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Marcos City Council confirms new fire chief, employee contract," 27 June 2019 Samuel Loring Morison, a Navy intelligence analyst, was charged in 1984 with providing classified photographs to Jane’s Defence Weekly. Jameel Jaffer, The New Yorker, "The Espionage Act and a Growing Threat to Press Freedom," 26 June 2019 Following the war’s conclusion, Friend acted as an operations officer in Korea and Vietnam; worked on early rocket programs; and led Project Blue Book, a classified Air Force study of unidentified flying objects. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Robert Friend, Tuskegee Airman Who Flew in 142 Combat Missions, Dies at 99," 26 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Duncan, a San Diego-area native who adopted Newport after seeing a job posting in the San Diego Union-Tribune classifieds, has no plans for his free time other than chores around the house and spending time with his newborn twin grandsons. Hillary Davis,, "Fire Chief Chip Duncan to retire after 32 years serving Newport Beach," 12 July 2019 For some of us, the weekend yard sales listed in the Inky classifieds constitute a religious ritual. New York Times, "Nantucket for Cheapskates," 25 June 2019 Late Wednesday night, Pam was among the first to buy the Village Voice and turn to the real estate classifieds. Nell Zink, Harper's magazine, "Marmalade Sky," 24 June 2019 His next two — Luna and Nova — were on a local classifieds website’s miscellaneous old clutter section. Kaitlyn Tiffany, Vox, "Every Furby gets a home," 21 Dec. 2018 Letgo, a mobile classifieds startup, secured $500 million this summer, and Dataminr, which analyzes social media data, secured $392 million in June. Kate King, WSJ, "Venture Funding Flows to New York City Tech Startups," 18 Sep. 2018 However, more than a few end up in the classifieds as used cars with bogus background stories. Fox News, "How to avoid buying a stolen used car and protect yourself if you do," 30 July 2018 Facebook Marketplace Facebook Marketplace is a classifieds platform that harnesses all the social media power of Facebook. Kim Komando, Fox News, "3 new online marketplaces better than Craigslist," 22 July 2018 Earnings at Naspers were also boosted by improved profitability at some of the company’s e-commerce units, including online classifieds, payments and travel businesses. Alexandra Wexler, WSJ, "Naspers Earnings Soar on Tencent Stake Sale," 22 June 2018

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


1789, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1952, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for classified

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for classified

The first known use of classified was in 1789

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English Language Learners Definition of classified

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: arranged in groups with similar things
: kept secret from all but a few people in the government



English Language Learners Definition of classified (Entry 2 of 2)

: a small advertisement that is grouped with others that are like it in a special section of a newspaper or magazine or on a Web site


clas·​si·​fied | \ ˈkla-sə-ˌfīd How to pronounce classified (audio) \

Kids Definition of classified

1 : arranged in groups with other similar things a classified advertisement
2 : kept secret from all but a few people in government classified information

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More from Merriam-Webster on classified

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with classified

Spanish Central: Translation of classified

Nglish: Translation of classified for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of classified for Arabic Speakers

Comments on classified

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


an act or instance of editing or removing

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