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

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of second-class in a Sentence

Noun 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 PolitiFact, July 2, 2019, Was Kamala Harris ‘part of second class to integrate’ Berkeley's public schools? Thank you for supporting our journalism. Mckenzie Sadeghi, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Kamala Harris was part of the second integrated class in elementary school," 17 Aug. 2020 Harris went on then to cite Biden’s fight against school busing and told the story of a young California girl who was part of the second class to integrate her school. Camille Caldera, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Harris never called Biden a racist, said she believed some of his accusers," 21 Aug. 2020 YouthForce NOLA has added a second class to LAUNCH, its free bridge year program for recent high school graduates. Staff Report,, "COVID-19 research at Tulane, and other metro-area college news," 19 Aug. 2020 Harris, then six and in the first grade, was in the second class of children to be bused up the mountain. Noemie Emery, National Review, "When School Busing Worked," 18 Aug. 2020 Harris described herself as part of the second class to integrate her school as a child after mandatory school busing, which forced Biden to apologize for his earlier comments. Rebecca Morin, USA TODAY, "That's the ticket: Joe Biden picks Sen. Kamala Harris as his 2020 vice presidential running mate," 11 Aug. 2020 This was the second class to graduate from the specialty court, which launched officially on Veterans Day in 2017. Elizabeth Zavala,, "Seven graduate via Zoom from Felony Veterans Treatment Court in San Antonio," 6 Aug. 2020 An additional proposal for 2022 would add a second class of eight-man football for any school that has more than 300 students that would like to start a program or make a move from 11-man. Kyle Neddenriep, The Indianapolis Star, "New state finals schedule coming for Indiana high school football, eight-man up for vote," 3 July 2020 The second class of drugs targets two receptors, Sigma1 and Sigma2, which are found on the surface of cells, but also inside them. Mark Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Two classes of drugs found that may treat COVID-19, according to new study," 1 May 2020

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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Time Traveler for second-class

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The first known use of second-class was in 1810

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Statistics for second-class

Cite this Entry

“Second-class.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Sep. 2020.

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How to pronounce second class (audio)

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

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