class

1 of 2

noun

plural classes
often attributive
1
a
: a body of students meeting regularly to study the same subject
Several students in the class are absent today.
b
: the period during which such a body meets
c
: a course of instruction
is doing well in her algebra class
d
: a body of students or alumni whose year of graduation is the same
donated by the class of 1995
2
a
: a group sharing the same economic or social status
the working class
b
: social rank
especially : high social rank
the classes as opposed to the masses
c
: high quality : elegance
a hotel with class
3
: a group, set, or kind sharing common attributes: such as
a
: a major category in biological taxonomy ranking above the order and below the phylum or division
b
: a collection of adjacent and discrete or continuous values of a random variable
c
: a collection of elements (such as numbers or points) : set sense 21
d
: a property of a geometric curve that is equal to the number of tangents that can be drawn to it through any point not on the curve
A curve is said to be of the nth degree or order when any right line meets it in n points and of the nth class when n tangents can be drawn to it through any assumed point. George Salmon
4
: a division or rating based on grade or quality
a class B movie
5
: the best of its kind
the class of the league
6
: a data type in object-oriented programming that consists of a group of objects (see object entry 1 sense 6a) with the same properties and behaviors and that can be arranged in a hierarchy with other such data types

class

2 of 2

verb

classed; classing; classes

transitive verb

: classify
She was classed as a part-time worker.

Example Sentences

Noun There are 20 students in the class. Several people in the class are absent today. This class is really difficult. He will be teaching an American history class next semester. The college offers classes in computer programming and engineering. She is taking a class on psychology. What classes are you taking this semester? I have an English class this morning. My class got out early today. I have already missed two classes. Verb I would class that suggestion as helpful, so let's make a note of it. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
Recently, the Massimines closed on a modest three-bedroom house in Hamilton Beach, a middle-class neighborhood in Queens overlooking Jamaica Bay. Ellen Barry Dave Sanders, New York Times, 29 Nov. 2022 Lockdowns have caused economic growth to slow to less than 3% this year, and the real-estate bust is shrinking the net worth of tens of millions of middle-class Chinese. The Editorial Board, WSJ, 27 Nov. 2022 In the 1970s, the building became the backdrop for protests by Chicano groups over the questionable sterilization of more than 200 mostly Latino and working-class women who came to Women’s and Children’s Hospital to deliver babies. Los Angeles Times, 27 Nov. 2022 Making his international debut in 1973, the Barbadian cricketer appeared in 19 tests, 10 one-day internationals and 114 first-class matches, according to Cricket West Indies. Kevin Dotson, CNN, 26 Nov. 2022 The writer, Debasmita Dasgupta, created a narrative around the disparity between working and upper-class Singaporeans of Indian origin. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 24 Nov. 2022 Keegan-Michael Key reprised his Key & Peele role as Mr. Garvey, an inner-city substitute teacher who has trouble pronouncing the names of his middle-class white students, for a new Paramount+ ad. Jessica Wang, EW.com, 23 Nov. 2022 President Bill Clinton had campaigned on a platform aimed squarely at the middle and working classes—public investment in job training, education, infrastructure, health care reform, and a middle-class tax cut. Win Mccormack, The New Republic, 23 Nov. 2022 In Close Encounters, Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss) develops an obsession with a UFO sighting, becoming increasingly alienated from his middle-class suburban family. Ellen Wexler, Smithsonian Magazine, 23 Nov. 2022
Verb
An easy way to class up your gathering is to break out the fancy dishes—no paper plates or plastic trays here! Sarah Martens, Better Homes & Gardens, 28 Sep. 2022 Monaco's royal twins will be heading off to class with brand-new back-to-school haircuts. Peter Mikelbank, Peoplemag, 3 Sep. 2022 The writers go out of their way to class up the couple’s affair, which is rendered in glossy flashback. Doreen St. Félix, The New Yorker, 19 Sep. 2022 Utah students bring weapons to class or campus hundreds of times in a school year. Jordan Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune, 14 Sep. 2022 The students then filed out to class through a door with a crucifix over it. Alexander Thompson, BostonGlobe.com, 25 Aug. 2022 More than half the students who attended Parker were Black, kids such as Rochelle Jenkins’s 12-year-old twin daughters, Zoraya and Zariah, who navigated a few side streets to class each day. Scott Wilson, Washington Post, 18 Sep. 2022 There have been significant bussing issues in the district, where students have been left without regular transportation to school and families have been scrambling to get their young ones to class on time ahead of work schedules. Sabrina Leboeuf And Lillian Reed, Baltimore Sun, 14 June 2022 Emma Eggler, 18, of Birmingham, a freshman at the University of West Florida in Pensacola, was walking to class on Monday when lightning struck her and left her unconscious on the ground, according to ABC 3 WEAR in Pensacola. Greg Garrison | Ggarrison@al.com, al, 26 Aug. 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Noun and Verb

French classe, from Latin classis group called to military service, fleet, class; perhaps akin to Latin calare to call — more at low entry 3

First Known Use

Noun

1583, in the meaning defined at sense 3

Verb

1642, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of class was in 1583

Dictionary Entries Near class

Cite this Entry

“Class.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/class. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

class 1 of 2

noun

1
a
: a group of students meeting regularly to study the same subject
b
: the period during which such a group meets
c
: a course of instruction
d
: a group of students who graduate together
class of 1990
2
a
: a group or rank of society
the working class
b
: high social rank
c
: high quality : elegance sense 2
a hotel with class
3
a
: a group or set alike in some way
b
: a major category in biological classification that is above the order and below the phylum or division
c
: a grouping or standing (as of goods or services) based on quality
classless
-ləs
adjective

class

2 of 2

verb

Medical Definition

class

noun

often attributive
: a group, set, or kind marked by common attributes or a common attribute
especially : a major category in biological taxonomy ranking above the order and below the phylum or division
the class Mammalia

Legal Definition

class

noun

: a group of persons or things having characteristics in common: as
a
: a group of persons who have some common relationship to a person making a will and are designated to receive a gift under the will but whose identities will not be determined until sometime in the future see also class gift at gift
b
: a group of securities (as stocks or bonds) having similar distinguishing features (as voting rights or priority of redemption)
c
: a group whose members are represented in a class action
e
: a group of crimes forming a category distinguished by a common characteristic (as the use of violence or the requirement for a maximum penalty)
murder is a class A felony

More from Merriam-Webster on class

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