sub·​class | \ ˈsəb-ˌklas How to pronounce subclass (audio) \

Definition of subclass

: a primary division of a class: such as
a : a category in biological classification ranking below a class and above an order

Examples of subclass in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Within these two subclasses of antibodies, if test subjects have had COVID-19, their body should make COVID-19 specific antibodies of each type of antibody the test can detect. Amanda Morris, azcentral, "Private labs see high demand for COVID-19 antibody test that detects past infections," 11 Apr. 2020 The exploit spotted by Segura is a common subclass of browser lock attacks. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, "Actively exploited bug in fully updated Firefox is sending users into a tizzy," 5 Nov. 2019 Four-, five- and higher-dimensional shapes are essentially untamable: the range of possibilities is so enormous that mathematicians have limited their ambitions to understanding specialized subclasses of them. Quanta Magazine, "Getting Into Shapes: From Hyperbolic Geometry to Cube Complexes and Back," 2 Oct. 2012 Anatomy Like rays and skates, sharks fall into a subclass of fish called elasmobranchii. National Geographic, "Sharks," 22 July 2019 Absent that, the court would be unable to ascertain the members of the political subclass of applicants on whose behalf plaintiffs are seeking relief. Dan Eaton, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Update: Conservative applicants’ challenge to Google hiring practices clears one hurdle, faces others," 24 June 2019 The lawsuit divides damage subclasses into two categories: those who were affected by the tear gas, pepper spray, pepper bullets, or other chemical agents and those who were subject to physical force by Phoenix police. azcentral, "Lawsuit stemming from Phoenix police actions after Trump appearance goes before judge," 12 June 2019 The post-Atkins decade saw the rise of good fats, a nonscientific subclass of fats that includes the unsaturated fats in avocado, fish, and coconut oil. Jamie Lauren Keiles, Vox, "How low-fat dairy came to rule the US — and why that’s changing.," 20 Dec. 2018 But one subclass of the 3,000 or so satellites swarming around Earth is particularly useful: the 400 that pirouette around the planet at roughly 22,000 miles above the equator. NBC News, "Alien satellites might offer a new way to find E.T.," 19 Mar. 2018

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

1720, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of subclass was in 1720

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Last Updated

26 Apr 2020

Cite this Entry

“Subclass.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for subclass


sub·​class | \ ˈsəb-ˌklas How to pronounce subclass (audio) \

Medical Definition of subclass

: a category in biological classification ranking below a class and above an order

More from Merriam-Webster on subclass

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for subclass

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with subclass

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