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 Mihalek, 94, a resident at Capri’s The Gables of Germantown Himmel Haus, is a former U.S. Navy petty officer-second class who served from February 1945 to July 1946 and in the Korean War. Jim Riccioli, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 7 Sep. 2021 The second class adds light elements designed to bind directly with hydrogen to create a continuous network of interlocking atoms (see graphic, above). Robert F. Service, Science | AAAS, 26 Aug. 2021 INITIATIVES National Geographic announced the second class of its Field Ready Program, an initiative aimed at promoting diversity and inclusion behind the camera. Ethan Shanfeld, Variety, 18 Aug. 2021 The company doesn’t treat car buyers like second class citizens, something Detroit is becoming adept at in its rush to kowtow to truck buyers at all costs. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 7 Aug. 2021 Kentler’s experiment seemed to rest on the idea that some children are fundamentally second class, their outlook so compromised that any kind of love is a gift, a proposition that his colleagues apparently accepted, too. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, 19 July 2021 Auburn football received its second class of 2022 commitment in two days when three-star tight end Micah Riley-Ducker announced his decision Wednesday night. Giana Han, al, 7 July 2021 In a shock new report, Digitimes has revealed that (for a second year running) Apple is set to launch a high proportion of its next gen iPhones with second class 5G. Gordon Kelly, Forbes, 3 July 2021 The high school bell schedule for the first and second class periods has been aligned with the bell schedules for other high schools throughout the county. David Anderson,, 29 June 2021

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of second-class was in 1810

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Dictionary Entries Near second-class

second class


second-class citizen

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Statistics for second-class

Cite this Entry

“Second-class.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for second-class



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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