clas·​si·​fied | \ˈkla-sə-ˌfīd \

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

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians is meant to provide oversight of the government’s security and intelligence activities, which means its members are given access to classified information. Kim Mackrael, WSJ, "Canadian Lawmaker Ousted From Conservative Caucus Over Sexting Scandal," 7 Nov. 2018 Federal security clearances are also forthcoming, which allow state election officials to be briefed more quickly on classified intelligence. Benjamin Wofford, Vox, "The midterms are already hacked. You just don’t know it yet.," 25 Oct. 2018 Over the ensuing days, the president divulged classified intelligence to Russians in the Oval Office, and revelations emerged that Mr. Trump had asked Mr. Comey to pledge loyalty and end an investigation into a senior aide. Fox News Staff, Fox News, "Early voting begins, final phase of midterms is here," 21 Sep. 2018 As documented by Bustle, QAnon is a group of people who believe in an unfounded conspiracy theory that a deep cover agent is giving them classified information from the government. Christianna Silva, Teen Vogue, "At Trump's Tampa Rally, Conspiracy Theorists and Hate for the Press Reminded Some of 2016 Campaign," 1 Aug. 2018 The Tehran Prosecutor General, Abba Jafari Dolotabadi, said members of the group were arrested for gathering classified intelligence in strategic areas under the guise of scientific and environmental work. Azadeh Moshiri, CNN, "Sons of Iranian-Canadian who died in jail: 'We just want the truth'," 16 Mar. 2018 His elite position has allowed him to meet with foreign officials around the world and read the classified intelligence prepared daily for the president. The Washington Post,, "Jared Kushner could be out in the cold after White House security overhaul," 17 Feb. 2018 Despite the warnings, Trump continues to take personal cellphone calls, and the White House has resolved to simply hoping the president doesn’t discuss classified matters over the phone. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Trump reportedly still uses an unsecured iPhone, and China and Russia are listening in," 24 Oct. 2018 Long-range missiles, bombers, aircraft carriers, and Marines were all classified offensive weapons and therefore off-limits. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Japan Is Developing a Unique Supersonic Glide Weapon," 16 Oct. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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 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

2 Dec 2018

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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 \

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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