up·per-class | \ˌə-pər-ˈklas, -ˈkläs\

Definition of upper-class 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: of, relating to, or characteristic of the upper class

upper class


Definition of upper class (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Examples of upper-class in a Sentence


a popular pastime among the upper classes a member of the upper class

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Some women also jokingly referred to Atlanta, a majority-black city with a storied history in the civil rights movement that has long been home to a large black middle and upper class, as Wakanda. Vanessa Williams, Washington Post, "At inaugural Power Rising summit, black women celebrate wins, strategize for upcoming battles," 25 Feb. 2018 For example, the middle and upper classes in England (and the United States for that matter) will see photos of Markle’s overweight father holding a bag of Kentucky Fried Chicken and mock him, Hurst said. Alfred Lubrano, Philly.com, "Royal wedding betrays the less-than-classy side of an American bride's family," 18 May 2018 During the 1890s, when bicycling exploded in popularity among the middle and upper classes in the United Kingdom, journalists and others condemned female cyclists for their wantonness. Christine Ro, The Atlantic, "How Cycling Clothing Opened Doors for Women," 15 Apr. 2018 The triplets, born in 1961, were placed with three families — one upper class, one middle, one working — by the now-defunct Louise Wise Agency as part of a study about nature vs. nurture by the Child Development Center. Washington Post, "Documentary tells dark tale of triplets separated at birth," 28 June 2018 Tens of thousands of Venezuelans — especially from the upper classes — began leaving the country following the rise of left-wing firebrand Hugo Chávez, who became president in 1999. Anthony Faiola And Rachelle Krygier, Washington Post, "A historic exodus is leaving Venezuela without teachers, doctors and electricians," 3 June 2018 Alias Grace is based on the Canadian’s historical fiction novel about the notorious Grace Marks, a 19th century servant who was convicted—along with another servant named James McDermott—of murdering her upper class employer. Lincoln Michel, GQ, "Alias Grace Is the Perfect Netflix Show to Watch After The Handmaid's Tale," 30 June 2018 According to costume designer Keith Madden, Patrick comes from a British upper class that doesn’t follow fashion, but favors traditional dress that might be embellished with a twist of eccentricity. Joy Press, HWD, "Patrick Melrose: How Benedict Cumberbatch Climbed Inside His Favorite Antihero," 5 June 2018 Most of the 1,700 lightweight blankets that Virgin Atlantic started offering this year in upper class on its A330-200 aircraft have gone missing. Matt Murray, WSJ, "The 10-Point.," 14 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of upper-class


1837, in the meaning defined above


1814, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of upper-class was in 1814

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More Definitions for upper-class

upper class


English Language Learners Definition of upper class

: a social class that is above the middle class : the highest social class

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Spanish Central: Translation of upper-class

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evasion of direct action or statement

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