Definition of class in English:



  • 1A set or category of things having some property or attribute in common and differentiated from others by kind, type, or quality.

    ‘it has good accommodation for a hotel of this class’
    ‘a new class of heart drug’
    • ‘But make no mistake, this is a quality production and a class apart from the norm in the West End.’
    • ‘There may be different classes of common shares, some with voting privileges and some without.’
    • ‘After that he entertained the fans to batting of the highest class, with quality strokes to all parts of the ground.’
    • ‘But it might have a positive effect on use of drugs of a different class.’
    • ‘Following the rules of scientific classification systems, the goal was to create classes or categories that did not overlap.’
    • ‘It is not possible to show that every instance of the subject class has this property.’
    • ‘There will be 10 pedigree classes but also numerous categories for pet pooches, including one for the dog with the waggiest tail.’
    • ‘Information needed for traffic inference can be categorized into two broad classes: deterministic and measured.’
    • ‘It does not fit well in any of the categories or classes of ‘old’ or ‘new’ social movements.’
    • ‘Ten patches each were allocated to one of four quality classes defined by the number of food items which a solitary forager could obtain during one time step.’
    • ‘The results were similar for different classes of antidepressant drugs and subgroups of patients.’
    • ‘Other than the lightweight classes or categories, all other classes or categories in both sports should be banned for several reasons.’
    • ‘But propositions can also be about classes, including classes of propositions.’
    • ‘Not only are there too many classes, but for some classes there are no common definitions.’
    • ‘Things, like predicates, come in different sorts; and if there are ten classes or categories of predicate, there are ten classes or categories of things.’
    • ‘By 1994, it had maintained its rank as the commonest species in the first two of these size classes, and ranked second in the third size class.’
    • ‘Aristotle recognizes different sociopolitical classes or categories of women and men.’
    • ‘When blood pressure control is not achieved, a second drug from a different class is added.’
    • ‘You obviously need to know in terms of classes or categories what sort of people are making the claims against the company.’
    • ‘He divides all the Greek philosophers into two classes: those of the Ionic and those of the Italic school.’
    kind, sort, type, order, variety, genre, brand
    category, grade, rating, classification, group, grouping, bracket, set, division
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    1. 1.1Biology A principal taxonomic grouping that ranks above order and below phylum or division, such as "Mammalia" or "Insecta".
      • ‘These phenotypic classes are discussed below, with reference to previously identified zebrafish melanocyte mutants.’
      • ‘However, among the classes of phylum Porifera, it is difficult to distinguish evolutionary relationships.’
      • ‘The species are presented alphabetically within taxonomic classes.’
      • ‘Within the large arthropods we found that birds consistently reduced numbers from all taxonomic classes.’
      taxonomic group, subclass, family, species, breed
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    2. 1.2British A division of candidates according to merit in a university examination.
      ‘he received a third class in literae humaniores’
      category, grade, rating, classification, group, grouping, bracket, set, division
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  • 2mass noun A system of ordering society whereby people are divided into sets based on perceived social or economic status.

    ‘people who are socially disenfranchised by class’
    as modifier ‘the class system’
    • ‘Indeed, involvement in global trade and finance is often as much a function of class as the North-South divide.’
    • ‘Traditionally supporters have been divided by history, class and politics.’
    • ‘These are mostly consumer and lifestyle issues… things based on money, class, and economics.’
    • ‘The end of the 19th Century really marked the time when novels of class made their appearance here.’
    • ‘The old two-tier class system will become three-tier and the most disadvantaged will have been sold down the river.’
    • ‘Agriculture, religion, economics and even social class were affected.’
    • ‘Our beloved class system doesn't help of course, as we are restricted into marriage from a small group of people at work or friends and play.’
    • ‘The domination of social and economic class jumps out of page after page.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, there can be no lasting peace as long as the system engages in class and generation warfare.’
    • ‘Marx's collaborator Frederick Engels argued that women's oppression was as old as class society.’
    • ‘Although these divisions are more complex than what we commonsensically mean by class, this system has a number of advantages.’
    • ‘The central characteristic of the society we live in is that it is divided by class.’
    • ‘They're quite low down the social ladder, but they always seem to know how to transcend class and society to get what they need.’
    • ‘The society is characterised by class relations between producers and parasites.’
    • ‘But the underlying economic and class systems were exactly the same as in Western capitalist countries.’
    social division, social order, social stratum, rank, level, echelon, group, grouping, set, caste
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    1. 2.1count noun A social division based on social or economic status.
      ‘the ruling class’
      • ‘Castes which, though ranking above the repressed classes are still of low status, are also pressing for admission to a higher place in the gradation of castes.’
      • ‘Next, the assault on this country's middle class is continuing.’
      • ‘Pensioners do not want to feel ignored and be treated as second class citizens.’
      • ‘Of course, the chances of me being allowed to marry below my class are pretty small, but I'll try.’
      • ‘We must unite beyond the boundaries of race, class, belief systems and age that all too often divide us.’
      • ‘They live in a modest apartment in a lower middle class suburb of New York.’
      • ‘There was no private ownership of property among the Guardian class, no marriage, and no family life.’
      • ‘They portrayed the ruling capitalist class as all-powerful and able to exploit, manipulate and deceive workers at will.’
      • ‘At the same time, whenever given the opportunity, he would mock the English upper class.’
      • ‘In the working class suburbs of Paris youth unemployment stands at up to 50 percent.’
      • ‘The propertied class and the class of the proletariat represent the same human self-alienation.’
      • ‘In some working class suburbs in Buenos Aires unemployment has hit 80 percent.’
      • ‘The assault on this country's middle class just doesn't quit.’
      • ‘How do we get back middle class white collar voters?’
      • ‘The English ruling class had men of high calibre to call upon.’
      • ‘A deeply divided political class nourished a range of conflicting and often utopian ideological goals.’
      • ‘Now, he does appear to show a distaste for the slave morality of mediocre men, and yes, he does seem to think that the qualities of nobility are higher or better than the qualities of other classes.’
      • ‘Yet, once you sink into the absolutely hilarious escapades of the English upper class, his books are delightful.’
      • ‘Poor people's energies should be refocused in united actions against the capitalist ruling class.’
      • ‘They were outnumbered hugely both by the gentry classes above them, and by the general peasantry below.’
      social division, social order, social stratum, rank, level, echelon, group, grouping, set, caste
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    2. 2.2the classesarchaic The rich or educated.
    3. 2.3informal Impressive stylishness in appearance or behaviour.
      ‘she's got class—she looks like a princess’
      • ‘On these gently sloping gravel hills, great wines of class and elegance are produced.’
      • ‘In my opinion it just felt right, and captured a real sense of class and style.’
      • ‘It was a sign of class and distinction if you coughed up a lung or two.’
      • ‘Liverpool fans must distinguish between clusters of defeats and real decline in class.’
      • ‘The place has class, style and everything else you need to have a good time.’
      • ‘Register today and get ready to network in style, class, and executive elegance.’
      • ‘Superb scores they were too, one better than the next in a show of real class.’
      • ‘The game needed a touch of real class and the Frenchman provided it.’
      • ‘The domain whites are wines of concentration, class, and distinction.’
      • ‘Smash it into a pulp so that all the realism, taste or class evaporates and you are just left with the skeleton of the story.’
      • ‘He showed a real touch of both class and speed to step through two tackles and outpace the Ilkley defence to go in in the corner.’
      • ‘There's no question that this drum and bass act's debut oozes class and sophistication.’
      • ‘Only playmakers of real class can conjure magic out of thin air.’
      • ‘Critics say he is a mercenary and a poor trainer, but there have been flashes of class in his brief appearances in claret and amber.’
      • ‘But it is only when you get moving that the real class of this reborn icon shines through.’
      • ‘He exuded class, confidence and style and for a heavily-built man was very agile and nimble.’
      • ‘She had style, class, and a quiet look about her that belied the sheer passion burning within her.’
      • ‘I was unimpressed by the bathroom, a one-room water closet with no real class.’
      • ‘They could also do with a centre-forward, a forward or two of real class and a reliable free taker.’
      • ‘He was excellent all through with a couple of his saves having the mark of real class.’
      style, stylishness, elegance, chic, sophistication, taste, refinement
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  • 3A group of students or pupils who are taught together.

    ‘selected pupils act as representatives for the whole class’
    • ‘She teaches a class of 27 pupils aged five to eight.’
    • ‘Teaching a class of thirty students in the style that I have outlined here would not work.’
    • ‘When the class comes back together, each member of the pair introduces the other in detail.’
    • ‘The private school opened in 1994 and has 32 pupils, who are generally taught in classes of 14 pupils.’
    • ‘I was really privileged being in the last class of graduate students taught by my theory of international law guru.’
    • ‘They all did the best they could and they had to teach to a level the class as a whole could handle.’
    • ‘It was considerably easier to educate a whole class about asthma than to identify students with asthma and offer separate classes for them.’
    • ‘The number of infants in England being taught in classes of more than the legal limit of 30 pupils has shot up by almost a third in a year.’
    • ‘But how do I teach a whole class how to use a camera and an edit suite in one lesson per week?’
    • ‘Another Sunday school teacher asked her class why it was necessary to be quiet in church.’
    • ‘The size of the classes taught should also be considered.’
    • ‘There is circle time every week, where a whole class will sit together to talk about anything that is worrying them.’
    • ‘The teacher might create the following types of problem for the whole class to solve together.’
    • ‘I taught her whole class this when she was four and she finds repetition boring.’
    • ‘Messages can be relayed instantly to individuals, whole classes or to every student in the college possessing a mobile phone.’
    • ‘He had been teaching a class of pupils aged 11 and 12 when he took Scott's son out of the room for being disruptive.’
    • ‘The assignment produced good information and bound the class together in an interesting way.’
    • ‘The basic problem in state schools is not that pupils are taught together in classes which are too large.’
    • ‘When we came to this school, we were placed in different classes.’
    • ‘Teachers in Queensland schools are required to teach classes of 30 students.’
    form, study group, school group, set, stream, band
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    1. 3.1 An occasion when pupils meet with their teacher for instruction; a lesson.
      ‘I was late for a class’
      • ‘Checking his watch, he found that he only had ten more minutes before his math class started.’
      • ‘That means classes are taught in English, and students earn degrees by accruing credits.’
      • ‘The teacher continued with the class, explaining the machine and how to avoid being caught out and giving each person a turn.’
      • ‘The point here is that teachers can use the class as a community to support learning.’
      • ‘Sometimes he had to cut class in order to do song recordings, but during the last two years, his efforts had begun paying off in a big way.’
      • ‘The science class started, and I actually had to pay attention.’
      • ‘I thought today's class went the best of the three and heard some encouraging feedback which was very cool.’
      • ‘The strike went ahead although teachers did not suspend classes at high schools.’
      • ‘Anyhow, this is how today's class went.’
      • ‘The faculty had its problems as well, and some even failed to hold classes on a regular basis.’
      • ‘The way in which students enter and leave the art room can affect their learning as well as the art teacher's preparation for classes.’
      • ‘And that is all that's registered in my brain during fifth period math class.’
      • ‘Just like a school teacher has their class planned out for the next day, so must you.’
      • ‘They get marked on behaviour, punctuality, contributions in class, quality of work and work completed.’
      • ‘Sam met with her friends for a short while before her science class started.’
      • ‘He would even interrupt classes to ask teachers to solve the crossword clues that he could not solve.’
      • ‘They sat next to each other in class and were impressed by each other's work.’
      • ‘When I was at school I disrupted the classes, and the teachers couldn't handle me.’
      • ‘Teachers resisted beginning classes later, and thus extending the school day, for the sake of accommodating breakfasts.’
      • ‘These programs often have many art teachers in the classes.’
      lesson, period, period of instruction
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    2. 3.2 A course of instruction.
      ‘I took classes in Indian music’
      • ‘I take dance classes at my school and outside of my college.’
      • ‘Check your local newspaper for classified listings that advertise affordable evening classes for adults.’
      • ‘Many martial arts schools offer classes for both adults and children.’
      • ‘The benefit of knowing what students were taught in previous classes is obvious.’
      • ‘The study concludes that while there might be quality teaching in individual classes in secondary schools, the disjointed approach does not serve pupils well.’
      • ‘This last course is a class for art education majors and art majors interested in teaching.’
      • ‘At the community college, most full-time instructors already teach four or more classes each semester.’
      • ‘Because of these strange powers they get special classes in order to grow and keep their powers in check.’
      • ‘She teaches a popular upper level class on artificial intelligence.’
      • ‘It is impressive that parents help in school libraries, develop classes, give lectures, and do administration tasks.’
      • ‘I took the freshman class at my old school since things were a little different there.’
      • ‘That's because the quality of gym classes varies widely.’
      • ‘Being able to review the coursework from other classes is a practical benefit that faculty members find appealing.’
      • ‘In addition she was asked to be the course coordinator, arranging classes and tutors and helping prepare class notes.’
      • ‘She's taking a math class on campus.’
      • ‘At age fourteen, she taught island children by day and conducted night classes for numerous adults.’
      • ‘He also taught classes on ethics and ancient philosophy.’
      • ‘One nurse had not worked in nursing for a few years and was taking the class as a refresher course.’
      • ‘Now I'm writing an essay on the service industry and the focus on quantity over quality for my sociology class.’
      • ‘I'm a college professor, teaching a freshman composition class at a small pacific northwestern university.’
      programme of study, course of study, educational programme, set of lectures, curriculum, syllabus, schedule
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    3. 3.3North American All of the college or school students of a particular year.
      ‘the class of 1999’
      • ‘The planting of ivy by the graduating class began in 1852.’
      • ‘An honors student, he graduated Valedictorian of his high school and college classes.’
      • ‘The reunion Mass for the class of 1985 of the Mercy Convent School has a change of date.’
      • ‘He grew up in a small town in Minnesota and graduated from West Point in the class of 1930.’
      • ‘The War Room already has a clear focus on the top prospects in the class of 2003.’
      • ‘The information was based on an analysis of the numbers from the class of medical students set to begin their studies in the fall of 2004.’
      • ‘No doubt their absence has muted the impact of the class of 2004 on the college game.’
      • ‘She has been getting good grades right through her school and last year she bagged the first rank in her class.’
      • ‘For the class of 2004 this is the end of the world as we know it and the beginning of life as we choose to live it.’
      • ‘With diplomas in hand the class of Capitol Diamond High leaves the field with smiles.’
      • ‘Students from the class of 1964 along with their past teachers had a great night of craic and memories.’
      • ‘There's also the draft, but this year's class does not appear to be very strong.’
      • ‘The recruiting class is an impressive one, but a bit of a decline is in order this season.’
      • ‘She had been informed six months before that the class of 2005 was to have a ten year reunion.’
      • ‘After a hard early life I was proud to hear that my eldest nephew had managed to earn his way to the top ranks of his senior class.’
      • ‘He is a fine prospect, one of the best point guards in the class of 2005.’
      • ‘Despite showing a talent for modern languages and mathematics he was only ranked 46th in his class.’


[with object]often be classed as
  • Assign or regard as belonging to a particular category.

    ‘conduct which is classed as criminal’
    • ‘Indeed it was officially classed as the ninth largest city in the British Empire.’
    • ‘If they quit that accommodation, the report argues, they may be classed as intentionally homeless.’
    • ‘A vehicle with seven seats or less, like a black cab, was classed as a taxi and had to be licensed by the local authority.’
    • ‘Any woodland dating back before 1600 is officially classed as "ancient".’
    • ‘The problem is that any sort of spending in Scottish football is classed as splashing the cash.’
    • ‘He said: "The stench up there was unbelievable and what they removed was classed as hazardous waste."’
    • ‘It gives new rights to walk over private land that can be classed as mountain, moorland, heathland or down.’
    • ‘As paint jobs go, it was one of the quickest on record - and could be classed as an express delivery.’
    • ‘First off, you have to determine was exactly would be classed as public.’
    • ‘Others can be classed as motor vehicles meaning riders need to wear a crash helmet and have a licence and insurance.’
    • ‘The offences are classed as violent crimes along with violence against a person, wounding and robbery.’
    • ‘Manure from privately kept horses is classed as household waste and will be exempt from the tax.’
    • ‘If you decide the money is a gift it is classed as a potentially exempt transfer and will fall out of your estate after seven years.’
    • ‘For taxation purposes, the deal has been officially classed as a demerger rather than a management buyout.’
    • ‘But it does use two materials which means it is still classed as a high-risk site.’
    • ‘For example a person arrested for being disorderly would be classed as having perpetrated a violent crime.’
    • ‘Under the smoking ban legislation, a moving vehicle could be classed as a workplace.’
    • ‘Consequently 87 of the 139 prisons in England and Wales are now officially classed as overcrowded.’
    • ‘People are classed as being in fuel poverty if they need to spend more than ten per cent of their income to heat their home.’
    • ‘Cold cases are classed as undetected crimes that are two or more years old and are not being currently investigated.’
    classify, categorize, group, grade, rate, type
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  • attributive Showing stylish excellence.

    ‘he's a class player’
    • ‘They got us working together and set us up with some fine gigs and class engagements.’
    • ‘However, on Saturday he showed the class player he is scoring an effortless hundred and he would still be not out if we were playing now!’
    • ‘They can hardly be blamed for taking the opportunity to land a class player on the cheap.’
    • ‘Now that he is back from injury, he has shown what a class player he is.’
    • ‘‘Jason is a class player and you have got to play brilliant pool to beat him,’ Chris said.’
    • ‘It's disappointing straight after the match, but I was beaten by a class player.’
    • ‘They are both similar players and are all-round class players.’
    • ‘We all recognise that we are still short of a few class players in key positions, but how else are we going to get them if not by trial and error.’
    • ‘He won the penalty and showed what a class player he is.’
    • ‘They are the world champions and a class side, but if they are not quite on their game, that is when you can get at them.’
    • ‘He is a class player and he worked well to make breaks and get through our defence.’
    • ‘He's a class player and hit 3 centuries in the last Ashes campaign.’
    • ‘You can get annoyed at this if you like, but reaching the quarters would be a good result for a team with maybe three class players.’
    • ‘Even if they do decide to go in without him they still have class players all over the pitch.’
    • ‘There are no stupid comments about having 24 class players.’
    • ‘He again showed what a class player he is.’
    • ‘He is a class player, but he totally lost it and should have been sent off a lot earlier.’
    • ‘They are in need of an injection of class players as they launch a concerted push to climb off the foot of the table.’
    • ‘But understand this, the requirement of any golf course is that it separates the class players from the rest.’
    • ‘Do you have any suggestions for me, and do a lot of class chess players experience the same thing?’
    excellent, very good, first-rate, first-class, marvellous, wonderful, magnificent, outstanding, superlative, superb, formidable, virtuoso, masterly, expert, champion, fine, consummate, skilful, adept
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  • class A (or B or C) drug

    • An illegal narcotic drug classified as being of the most harmful and addictive (or a less harmful and addictive) kind, possession or sale of which incurs corresponding legal penalties.

      • ‘He has previous convictions for possession of class A drugs, shoplifting, obstructing police and dealing heroin.’
      • ‘The focus of Operation Crackdown will centre on closing drug dens, disrupting class A drug markets, seizing illegal firearms and bringing dealers to justice.’
      • ‘The move comes as part of the government's overall drug strategy, which focuses on class A drugs, such as heroin and crack/cocaine, which are believed to cause the greatest harm to individuals, their families and communities.’
      • ‘He was jailed for nine years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs and possession of cocaine and cannabis.’
      • ‘The Government is reclassifying cannabis from a class B to a class C drug as part of its overall drug strategy to focus on class A drugs, especially heroin and cocaine.’
      • ‘The sale of class B drugs would be illegal except for therapeutic purposes, but R18 possession would be legal.’
      • ‘People taking class A drugs (cocaine and heroin) cost society millions of pounds a year.’
      • ‘He was jailed for 30 months for possession of class A drugs, namely heroin and cocaine, with intent to supply.’
      • ‘Cannabis is being dropped from a class B drug to a class C drug with a similar drop in penalty for possession.’
      • ‘That is significant, because if the drug is a class A drug, the maximum penalty for supply is life imprisonment.’
  • class act

    • informal A person or thing displaying impressive and stylish excellence.

      ‘the writing and the look of the magazine make it a real class act’
      • ‘The simple answer that most pop is music is transitory and disposable; the class acts I deify transcend genre and defy classification.’
      • ‘Paul has turned into a complete pro, a model trainer and a real class act.’
      • ‘It was hard to see then how anyone could top these two classic punk bands, with a shelf life of 50 years between them and still looking and sounding like class acts.’
      • ‘For a succession of class acts in the music, drama, poetry and dancing fields have come and become entranced by this former church which has been turned into a remarkable centre for the arts.’
      • ‘But she didn't let this bother her at all and she proved to be a real class act.’
      • ‘To a design guru, this silver-capped blue-tinged bottle will seem like a class act, and worth the money simply as a piece of glass art.’
      • ‘That's what makes him such a class act - his ability to make you laugh at things you shouldn't be laughing at.’
      • ‘The leader ran on like a real class act and finished really well to clock 30: 04.’
      • ‘All of the drivers were real class acts and did not consider us a bother.’
      • ‘As for the local economy, she said: ‘There are some really class acts in business terms throughout this area of north Hampshire.’’
  • a class apart

    • Much better than others of a similar kind.

      ‘his songs were definitely a class apart’
      • ‘Imagination, innovation and the will to be a class apart - he has all these in full measure.’
      • ‘For Ricky Ponting's Australians were simply a class apart.’
      • ‘Among professional institutions, the new apex institutions are considered to be in a class apart.’
      • ‘Preparing for his sixth Ashes campaign, but still a class apart, McGrath was the constant menace at the top of the order.’
      • ‘Table lamps, dining table made of wood and the summer and rain caps made of bamboo were a class apart.’
      • ‘But things of beauty are invaluable and the handmade articles are a class apart, he says.’
      • ‘The food, though, remained a class apart, as I found when I ordered the roulade of smoked salmon and lemon sole.’
      • ‘I think the sides who currently occupy the top six, Hull, Oxford, Doncaster, Yeovil, Swansea and ourselves are a class apart.’
      • ‘Imperious, elegant, unruffled, he was a class apart.’
      • ‘Despite not being a big fan of rainbow trout fisheries, I found Menteith to be a class apart from any that I had visited.’
  • in a class of its (or one's) own

    • Unequalled, especially in excellence or performance.

      ‘British advertising is in a class of its own for inventiveness’
      • ‘This guy is in a class of his own, clearly taking pleasure in the performance as his fingers dance - blending blues, folk, rock and hillbilly fervour with a voice that echoes with conviction.’
      • ‘His trademark melodies and lyrics are in a class of their own and his voice expresses emotion like few others can.’
      • ‘Her accents were pretty flawless, even in the most emotionally fraught scenes, but when you are in a class of your own, the critics are that much fiercer.’
      • ‘She said: ‘It was a rollercoaster of emotions, I have supported England all the way, but Brazil are in a class of their own.’’
      • ‘It's this range of inventiveness that puts these improvisations in a class of their own.’
      • ‘You are in a class of your own - don't let anyone knock you down!’
      • ‘They are strong at the back, very formidable at midfield, while their forwards are in a class of their own.’
      • ‘While the pre-election surveys have got a bad name in 2004, the exit polls are in a class of their own.’
      • ‘The resentful intellectuals of France, however, are in a class of their own.’
      • ‘For talent, performance, courage, survival and luck, both are in a class of their own.’


Mid 16th century (in class (sense 3 of the noun)): from Latin classis ‘a division of the Roman people, a grade, or a class of pupils’.