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up·​per-class ˌə-pər-ˈklas How to pronounce upper-class (audio)
: of, relating to, or characteristic of the upper class

upper class

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: a social class occupying a position above the middle class and having the highest status in a society

Example Sentences

Noun a popular pastime among the upper classes a member of the upper class
Recent Examples on the Web
But comedy skewering the upper class hits even harder in 2022, as the richest 10% of the world's population now owns 76% of the wealth, according to this year's World Inequality Report. Patrick Ryan, USA TODAY, 27 Oct. 2022 The film charts the journey of a young Algerian man from an upper class family who becomes increasingly alienated by his authoritative father and implodes. Elsa Keslassy, Variety, 6 Sep. 2022 At the moment, peplums are sort of uncool, a symbol of unrelatable upper class dressing or a too-recent reminder of the 2010s. José Criales-unzueta, Vogue, 26 Aug. 2022 The lily-white patriarchal hierarchy of the British upper class that Meghan has sprung Harry from. Seven Graham, Los Angeles Times, 16 Sep. 2022 The oba of Benin does not practice the false informality of the modern global upper class. David Frum, The Atlantic, 14 Sep. 2022 The study is limited, however, because most of the women were middle-to-upper class, partnered and well educated, which could have shielded them from much of the stress families felt during the pandemic, the authors say. Megan Marples, CNN, 7 Sep. 2022 Kimberly Mutcherson, a dean of Rutgers Law School, says that fertility treatment has not been made a point of focus by these groups because of who the typical patient is: upper class, white, heterosexual. Beth Kowitt And Paige Mcglauflin, Fortune, 30 June 2022 As a member of the illustrious Mitford family, society darlings of London and Nazi Germany during the 1930s, Nancy Mitford had personal experience of the upper class’s infatuation with British fascism during the years leading up to World War II. Lauren Young, WSJ, 12 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'upper-class.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use


1837, in the meaning defined above


1814, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of upper-class was in 1814

Dictionary Entries Near upper-class

Upper Chinook


upper class

Cite this Entry

“Upper-class.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/upper-class. Accessed 5 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

upper class


: the highest class in society
upper-class adjective
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