sec·​ond-class | \ ˈse-kən(d)-ˈklas How to pronounce second-class (audio) , -kᵊŋ-\

Definition of second-class

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of or relating to a second class
2 : mediocre also : socially, politically, or economically deprived

second class


Definition of second class (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the second and usually next to highest group in a classification
3 : a class of U.S. or Canadian mail comprising periodicals sent to regular subscribers

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Synonyms & Antonyms for second-class

Synonyms: Adjective

inferior, mean, minor, second-rate, secondary

Antonyms: Adjective

greater, higher, superior

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Examples of second-class in a Sentence


The airline offers special services for travelers in first and second class. She got an upper second class in English at Oxford.

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Coventry won its second Class S championship in school history, and the first in 35 years, after losing in the championship game just a year ago. Shawn Mcfarland,, "The 2019 All-Courant baseball team," 8 July 2019 As a result, Ethiopia’s federal design has relegated most minority regions that aren’t directly administered by the ruling coalition into second class regions. Yohannes Gedamu, Quartz Africa, "The underlying tension behind Ethiopia’s flawed federal system and its risks," 26 June 2019 There was a little girl in California who was part of the second class to integrate her public schools and she was bused to school every day. Erica Frankenberg, The Conversation, "What school segregation looks like in the US today, in 4 charts," 19 July 2019 The second class was on blueberries, and residents tried a blueberry parfait. Staff Report, Houston Chronicle, "Parkway Place creates ‘Wellness University’ to educate residents about nutrition," 12 July 2019 The medal was awarded posthumously to Nick D'Amelio Jr., a seaman second class who was declared missing in action after his ship sank during World War II, according to military records. Angel Mendoza, azcentral, "Martha McSally to help reunite a Purple Heart medal found in Tucson Goodwill," 11 July 2019 According to military records, D'Amelio was originally from California and a seaman second class who served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. Fox News, "Purple Heart medal discovered at Goodwill in Arizona, prompting search for family," 10 July 2019 According to military records, D'Amelio was a seaman second class in the US Navy who was declared missing in action when the USS Little sank in the Solomon Islands on September 5, 1942. Amanda Jackson, CNN, "A Purple Heart that was mistakenly donated to Goodwill will be returned to a sailor's family," 10 July 2019 As a mother and a teacher, Senator Harris’ powerful recount of being part of the second class to be integrated in Berkeley was a defining moment for me. Essence, "Here’s Why I’m Endorsing Kamala Harris For President," 3 July 2019

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


circa 1838, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1810, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for second-class

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Time Traveler for second-class

The first known use of second-class was in 1810

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English Language Learners Definition of second-class

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of or relating to second class
: not given the same rights or treatment as the rest of the people in a society
: not of the best quality

second class


English Language Learners Definition of second class (Entry 2 of 2)

: a level of service on a train, ship, etc., that is just below first class
: a class of mail in the U.S. that includes newspapers, magazines, etc.
: a class of mail in the UK that costs less and takes longer to arrive than first class

More from Merriam-Webster on second-class

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with second-class

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for second-class

Spanish Central: Translation of second-class

Comments on second-class

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


readily or continually undergoing change

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