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’
    • ‘It does not fit well in any of the categories or classes of ‘old’ or ‘new’ social movements.’
    • ‘But propositions can also be about classes, including classes of propositions.’
    • ‘He divides all the Greek philosophers into two classes: those of the Ionic and those of the Italic school.’
    • ‘When blood pressure control is not achieved, a second drug from a different class is added.’
    • ‘Other than the lightweight classes or categories, all other classes or categories in both sports should be banned for several reasons.’
    • ‘There will be 10 pedigree classes but also numerous categories for pet pooches, including one for the dog with the waggiest tail.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There may be different classes of common shares, some with voting privileges and some without.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The results were similar for different classes of antidepressant drugs and subgroups of patients.’
    • ‘Information needed for traffic inference can be categorized into two broad classes: deterministic and measured.’
    • ‘It is not possible to show that every instance of the subject class has this property.’
    • ‘But make no mistake, this is a quality production and a class apart from the norm in the West End.’
    • ‘Following the rules of scientific classification systems, the goal was to create classes or categories that did not overlap.’
    • ‘Not only are there too many classes, but for some classes there are no common definitions.’
    • ‘After that he entertained the fans to batting of the highest class, with quality strokes to all parts of the ground.’
    • ‘You obviously need to know in terms of classes or categories what sort of people are making the claims against the company.’
    • ‘But it might have a positive effect on use of drugs of a different class.’
    category, grade, rating, classification, group, grouping, bracket, set, division
    kind, sort, type, order, variety, genre, brand
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    1. 1.1Biology A principal taxonomic grouping that ranks above order and below phylum or division, such as Mammaliaor Insecta.
      • ‘These phenotypic classes are discussed below, with reference to previously identified zebrafish melanocyte mutants.’
      • ‘The species are presented alphabetically within taxonomic classes.’
      • ‘Within the large arthropods we found that birds consistently reduced numbers from all taxonomic classes.’
      • ‘However, among the classes of phylum Porifera, it is difficult to distinguish evolutionary relationships.’
      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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  • 2[mass 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’
    • ‘The society is characterised by class relations between producers and parasites.’
    • ‘The old two-tier class system will become three-tier and the most disadvantaged will have been sold down the river.’
    • ‘Marx's collaborator Frederick Engels argued that women's oppression was as old as class society.’
    • ‘The domination of social and economic class jumps out of page after page.’
    • ‘But the underlying economic and class systems were exactly the same as in Western capitalist countries.’
    • ‘Unfortunately, there can be no lasting peace as long as the system engages in class and generation warfare.’
    • ‘The central characteristic of the society we live in is that it is divided by class.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Although these divisions are more complex than what we commonsensically mean by class, this system has a number of advantages.’
    • ‘Traditionally supporters have been divided by history, class and politics.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Indeed, involvement in global trade and finance is often as much a function of class as the North-South divide.’
    • ‘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.’
    social division, social order, social stratum, rank, level, echelon, group, grouping, set, caste
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    1. 2.1[count noun]A social division based on social or economic status.
      ‘the ruling class’
      • ‘They portrayed the ruling capitalist class as all-powerful and able to exploit, manipulate and deceive workers at will.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There was no private ownership of property among the Guardian class, no marriage, and no family life.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘At the same time, whenever given the opportunity, he would mock the English upper class.’
      • ‘The English ruling class had men of high calibre to call upon.’
      • ‘Of course, the chances of me being allowed to marry below my class are pretty small, but I'll try.’
      • ‘They were outnumbered hugely both by the gentry classes above them, and by the general peasantry below.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In the working class suburbs of Paris youth unemployment stands at up to 50 percent.’
      • ‘How do we get back middle class white collar voters?’
      • ‘Yet, once you sink into the absolutely hilarious escapades of the English upper class, his books are delightful.’
      • ‘The assault on this country's middle class just doesn't quit.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A deeply divided political class nourished a range of conflicting and often utopian ideological goals.’
      • ‘Poor people's energies should be refocused in united actions against the capitalist ruling class.’
      social division, social order, social stratum, rank, level, echelon, group, grouping, set, caste
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    2. 2.2archaic The rich or educated.
    3. 2.3informal Impressive stylishness in appearance or behaviour.
      ‘she's got class—she looks like a princess’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They could also do with a centre-forward, a forward or two of real class and a reliable free taker.’
      • ‘It was a sign of class and distinction if you coughed up a lung or two.’
      • ‘Only playmakers of real class can conjure magic out of thin air.’
      • ‘The domain whites are wines of concentration, class, and distinction.’
      • ‘Register today and get ready to network in style, class, and executive elegance.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Superb scores they were too, one better than the next in a show of real class.’
      • ‘In my opinion it just felt right, and captured a real sense of class and style.’
      • ‘I was unimpressed by the bathroom, a one-room water closet with no real class.’
      • ‘He exuded class, confidence and style and for a heavily-built man was very agile and nimble.’
      • ‘He was excellent all through with a couple of his saves having the mark of real class.’
      • ‘There's no question that this drum and bass act's debut oozes class and sophistication.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The place has class, style and everything else you need to have a good time.’
      • ‘On these gently sloping gravel hills, great wines of class and elegance are produced.’
      • ‘Liverpool fans must distinguish between clusters of defeats and real decline in class.’
      • ‘The game needed a touch of real class and the Frenchman provided it.’
      • ‘But it is only when you get moving that the real class of this reborn icon shines through.’
      • ‘She had style, class, and a quiet look about her that belied the sheer passion burning within her.’
      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’
    • ‘The private school opened in 1994 and has 32 pupils, who are generally taught in classes of 14 pupils.’
    • ‘Teachers in Queensland schools are required to teach classes of 30 students.’
    • ‘She teaches a class of 27 pupils aged five to eight.’
    • ‘I was really privileged being in the last class of graduate students taught by my theory of international law guru.’
    • ‘Messages can be relayed instantly to individuals, whole classes or to every student in the college possessing a mobile phone.’
    • ‘Teaching a class of thirty students in the style that I have outlined here would not work.’
    • ‘There is circle time every week, where a whole class will sit together to talk about anything that is worrying them.’
    • ‘The basic problem in state schools is not that pupils are taught together in classes which are too large.’
    • ‘Another Sunday school teacher asked her class why it was necessary to be quiet in church.’
    • ‘When we came to this school, we were placed in different classes.’
    • ‘I taught her whole class this when she was four and she finds repetition boring.’
    • ‘The assignment produced good information and bound the class together in an interesting way.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But how do I teach a whole class how to use a camera and an edit suite in one lesson per week?’
    • ‘It was considerably easier to educate a whole class about asthma than to identify students with asthma and offer separate classes for them.’
    • ‘The size of the classes taught should also be considered.’
    • ‘They all did the best they could and they had to teach to a level the class as a whole could handle.’
    • ‘When the class comes back together, each member of the pair introduces the other in detail.’
    • ‘The teacher might create the following types of problem for the whole class to solve together.’
    form, study group, school group, set, stream, band
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    1. 3.1An occasion when pupils meet with their teacher for instruction; a lesson.
      ‘I was late for a class’
      • ‘The teacher continued with the class, explaining the machine and how to avoid being caught out and giving each person a turn.’
      • ‘They get marked on behaviour, punctuality, contributions in class, quality of work and work completed.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And that is all that's registered in my brain during fifth period math class.’
      • ‘Sam met with her friends for a short while before her science class started.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘That means classes are taught in English, and students earn degrees by accruing credits.’
      • ‘Just like a school teacher has their class planned out for the next day, so must you.’
      • ‘The faculty had its problems as well, and some even failed to hold classes on a regular basis.’
      • ‘Teachers resisted beginning classes later, and thus extending the school day, for the sake of accommodating breakfasts.’
      • ‘Anyhow, this is how today's class went.’
      • ‘When I was at school I disrupted the classes, and the teachers couldn't handle me.’
      • ‘These programs often have many art teachers in the classes.’
      • ‘He would even interrupt classes to ask teachers to solve the crossword clues that he could not solve.’
      • ‘Checking his watch, he found that he only had ten more minutes before his math class started.’
      • ‘The point here is that teachers can use the class as a community to support learning.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The science class started, and I actually had to pay attention.’
      • ‘They sat next to each other in class and were impressed by each other's work.’
      lesson, period, period of instruction
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    2. 3.2A course of instruction.
      ‘I took classes in Indian music’
      • ‘One nurse had not worked in nursing for a few years and was taking the class as a refresher course.’
      • ‘It is impressive that parents help in school libraries, develop classes, give lectures, and do administration tasks.’
      • ‘He also taught classes on ethics and ancient philosophy.’
      • ‘That's because the quality of gym classes varies widely.’
      • ‘I'm a college professor, teaching a freshman composition class at a small pacific northwestern university.’
      • ‘She teaches a popular upper level class on artificial intelligence.’
      • ‘In addition she was asked to be the course coordinator, arranging classes and tutors and helping prepare class notes.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘At age fourteen, she taught island children by day and conducted night classes for numerous adults.’
      • ‘This last course is a class for art education majors and art majors interested in teaching.’
      • ‘Being able to review the coursework from other classes is a practical benefit that faculty members find appealing.’
      • ‘I took the freshman class at my old school since things were a little different there.’
      • ‘She's taking a math class on campus.’
      • ‘I take dance classes at my school and outside of my college.’
      • ‘Many martial arts schools offer classes for both adults and children.’
      • ‘Check your local newspaper for classified listings that advertise affordable evening classes for adults.’
      • ‘Now I'm writing an essay on the service industry and the focus on quantity over quality for my sociology class.’
      • ‘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.’
      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’
      • ‘She has been getting good grades right through her school and last year she bagged the first rank in her class.’
      • ‘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 grew up in a small town in Minnesota and graduated from West Point in the class of 1930.’
      • ‘The recruiting class is an impressive one, but a bit of a decline is in order this season.’
      • ‘The reunion Mass for the class of 1985 of the Mercy Convent School has a change of date.’
      • ‘There's also the draft, but this year's class does not appear to be very strong.’
      • ‘No doubt their absence has muted the impact of the class of 2004 on the college game.’
      • ‘The planting of ivy by the graduating class began in 1852.’
      • ‘The War Room already has a clear focus on the top prospects in the class of 2003.’
      • ‘She had been informed six months before that the class of 2005 was to have a ten year reunion.’
      • ‘He is a fine prospect, one of the best point guards in the class of 2005.’
      • ‘With diplomas in hand the class of Capitol Diamond High leaves the field with smiles.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘An honors student, he graduated Valedictorian of his high school and college classes.’
      • ‘Despite showing a talent for modern languages and mathematics he was only ranked 46th in his 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.’
      • ‘Students from the class of 1964 along with their past teachers had a great night of craic and memories.’


  • Assign or regard as belonging to a particular category.

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

    ‘he's a class player’
    • ‘He's a class player and hit 3 centuries in the last Ashes campaign.’
    • ‘Do you have any suggestions for me, and do a lot of class chess players experience the same thing?’
    • ‘There are no stupid comments about having 24 class players.’
    • ‘They can hardly be blamed for taking the opportunity to land a class player on the cheap.’
    • ‘He is a class player and he worked well to make breaks and get through our defence.’
    • ‘They are in need of an injection of class players as they launch a concerted push to climb off the foot of the table.’
    • ‘He again showed what a class player he is.’
    • ‘He won the penalty and showed what a class player he is.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 is a class player, but he totally lost it and should have been sent off a lot earlier.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But understand this, the requirement of any golf course is that it separates the class players from the rest.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Now that he is back from injury, he has shown what a class player he is.’
    • ‘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 got us working together and set us up with some fine gigs and class engagements.’
    • ‘‘Jason is a class player and you have got to play brilliant pool to beat him,’ Chris said.’
    excellent, very good, first-rate, first-class, marvellous, wonderful, magnificent, outstanding, superlative, superb, formidable, virtuoso, masterly, expert, champion, fine, consummate, skilful, adept
    great, terrific, tremendous, smashing, fantastic, sensational, stellar, fabulous, fab, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, crack, hotshot, a1, mean, demon, awesome, magic, wicked, tip-top, top-notch
    brilliant, brill
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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.

      • ‘The sale of class B drugs would be illegal except for therapeutic purposes, but R18 possession would be legal.’
      • ‘He has previous convictions for possession of class A drugs, shoplifting, obstructing police and dealing heroin.’
      • ‘People taking class A drugs (cocaine and heroin) cost society millions of pounds a year.’
      • ‘The focus of Operation Crackdown will centre on closing drug dens, disrupting class A drug markets, seizing illegal firearms and bringing dealers to justice.’
      • ‘He was jailed for nine years after pleading guilty to conspiracy to supply class A drugs and possession of cocaine and cannabis.’
      • ‘That is significant, because if the drug is a class A drug, the maximum penalty for supply is life imprisonment.’
      • ‘Cannabis is being dropped from a class B drug to a class C drug with a similar drop in penalty for possession.’
      • ‘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 30 months for possession of class A drugs, namely heroin and cocaine, with intent to supply.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘As for the local economy, she said: ‘There are some really class acts in business terms throughout this area of north Hampshire.’’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Paul has turned into a complete pro, a model trainer and a real class act.’
  • a class apart

    • Much better than others of a similar kind.

      ‘his songs were definitely a class apart’
      • ‘But things of beauty are invaluable and the handmade articles are a class apart, he says.’
      • ‘Imperious, elegant, unruffled, he was a class apart.’
      • ‘Imagination, innovation and the will to be a class apart - he has all these in full measure.’
      • ‘Among professional institutions, the new apex institutions are considered to be in a class apart.’
      • ‘For Ricky Ponting's Australians were simply 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.’
      • ‘Despite not being a big fan of rainbow trout fisheries, I found Menteith to be a class apart from any that I had visited.’
      • ‘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.’
  • 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’
      • ‘They are strong at the back, very formidable at midfield, while their forwards are in a class of their own.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For talent, performance, courage, survival and luck, both are in a class of their own.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘You are in a class of your own - don't let anyone knock you down!’
      • ‘She said: ‘It was a rollercoaster of emotions, I have supported England all the way, but Brazil 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.’
      • ‘It's this range of inventiveness that puts these improvisations in a class of their own.’
      • ‘His trademark melodies and lyrics are in a class of their own and his voice expresses emotion like few others can.’
      • ‘The resentful intellectuals of France, however, are in a class of their own.’


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