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

Then came a pardon for Kristian Saucier, a former Navy sailor who was convicted for taking photographs of classified sections of a submarine. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Problem With Trump’s Pardons," 1 June 2018 The Pentagon’s new Obeya was a large, classified room with... Gordon Lubold And Michael C. Bender, WSJ, "After Mattis, Acting Defense Chief Shanahan Is Trying Out for Permanent Role," 3 Feb. 2019 In January, SpaceX launched a classified spy satellite for some unknown government agency — but soon afterward, reports surfaced that the probe fell out of orbit and burned up in Earth’s atmosphere. Loren Grush, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: SpaceX," 29 Dec. 2018 The classified assessments raise doubts about administration claims that the Trump-Kim summit set the two adversaries on a path toward elimination of North Korea’s nuclear program. David S. Cloud,, "Pompeo heads to North Korea to press Kim on nuclear disarmament," 6 July 2018 Data on combatant command mission requests, many of which involve classified operations, is not available. Jasmine Khayami And Elizabeth Strassner, USA TODAY, "Collisions reveal a Navy tragically undone by its can-do spirit," 25 June 2018 Days later, Winner is believed to have released the classified documents to The Intercept. Araceli Cruz, Teen Vogue, "What to Know About Reality Winner, the 26-Year-Old Going to Prison for Leaking Classified Documents," 23 Aug. 2018 In recent weeks that campaign included a classified briefing held by Sens. Stu Woo, WSJ, "Huawei’s New Playbook in Washington: Drop PR and Hire Lawyers," 17 Dec. 2018 And in the famous Pentagon Papers case, the Supreme Court upheld a newspaper's right to publish classified information. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Cut-and-paste error apparently reveals federal charges against Assange," 16 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 The one who reputedly killed newspapers' main revenue source, the classifieds. Claire Atkinson, NBC News, "Who murdered the newspaper business?," 12 June 2018 The couple met in 1992 through the old-school version of online dating: the classifieds. CBS News, "Were the murders of California teens the work of a serial killer?," 9 June 2018 For information on local classifieds and other HCN advertising, call (281) 378-1000. Houston Chronicle, "Cleveland community rallies around Israel," 31 May 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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Last Updated

25 Feb 2019

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The first known use of classified was in 1789

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More Definitions for classified



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

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