Definition of second class in English:

second class

noun

  • 1A set of people or things grouped together as the second best.

    • ‘As a manager, Hoddle has more or less proved himself first class of the second class.’
    • ‘Union leaders say it will result in a second class of workers with lower wages and benefits than those at the parent airline.’
    post, letters, packages, parcels, correspondence, communications, airmail
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1mass noun The second-best accommodation or seating in a train or other form of transport.
      • ‘Not only was I going to travel on my very first train today, I was going to travel second class rather than packed in third class.’
      • ‘This was not a one-class ship like the others I had traveled on, but had three separate sections - first class, second class, and steerage.’
      • ‘I have not heard if any people with first class tickets sat down in second class.’
      • ‘I couldn't believe how nice second-class was on Japan's private trains.’
      • ‘An Inter-Rail ticket entitles you to travel in second class on trains in the zones you've chosen.’
      • ‘It will maybe not be first-class, but even if it is second-class, it would be nice to be on that train.’
      • ‘For some reason I've always found myself standing in the carriage which is half second class and half Arriva Premiere class.’
      • ‘An attendant approaches her and tell her to move to the second class as she doesn't have a ticket for the first class.’
    2. 1.2British The second-highest division in the results of the examinations for a university degree.
      ‘he obtained a second class in modern history’
      • ‘And only six girls got second class in the tenth - all the others passed in first class.’
      • ‘He was a gentleman and a scholar, having graduated in Harvard University's second class in dentistry in 1870.’

adverb & adjective

  • 1Of the second-best quality or in the second division.

    as adjective ‘until 1914 women were thought of as second-class citizens’
    • ‘Britain was a ‘first-class country with second-class public services’ - partly because Labour could not reform them, the new Tory leader declared.’
    • ‘For decades we were second-class citizens in the Soviet Union.’
    • ‘The Bible is not a second-class subject, so make it a priority in the training of your children.’
    • ‘So don't waste any more time trying to be a second class somebody else and get on with being a first class you!’
    • ‘If you are a coach that promotes the first class and second class player concept, 20 points would be the time to let your bench players in the game.’
    • ‘There will always be candidates, but first-class, and even second-class, candidates will be harder to get.’
    • ‘On 13 April 1865 he was promoted and became a second class Trooper and a year later first class Trooper.’
    • ‘Neal's grown-up theatre company is called Second Class because one of his teachers said that people wouldn't buy tickets for second-class theatre.’
    • ‘It is not the first time a cost-cutting exercise by the Royal Mail has lumbered Hampshire residents with a second-class service.’
    • ‘I had pointed out that having a second class of membership rendered a lot of people second-class members and they didn't all like it.’
    • ‘You really won't get people taking up sciences in class when the materials are second class and out of date or old.’
    • ‘It seems incredible that West Yorkshire's second city should effectively be deemed second class as far as transport links are concerned.’
    • ‘We've got first class jails, second class schools.’
    • ‘It was large and weather beaten, though its new sails and the obvious care put into it didn't make it seem like any second class ship.’
    • ‘Therefore, they belong in the second class with other female beings.’
    • ‘There was no feeling of being second-class citizens or lesser beings.’
    • ‘We want these children to do as well as other children, not as second-class type of students.’
    • ‘We would want to be sure that the doctors are properly trained so the victims are not getting a second-class service.’
    • ‘Therefore promoters tend to treat local bands like second-class citizens, with quality control no longer a factor.’
    • ‘Malcolm received second class care I don't see why he should receive second class justice.’
    • ‘From that day on, one mind-altering neighbourhood meeting at a time, Toronto stops being a second-class copy and becomes a first-class original.’
    • ‘In an age when women can have it all, she decided to leave it all for second-class subservience.’
    • ‘This lack of virtuosity befits Britain's second city, which is, appropriately, second class.’
    second-rate, second-best, low-class, inferior, lesser, unimportant
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Relating to the second-best accommodation or seating in a train or other form of transport.
      as adjective ‘I want second-class tickets’
      as adverb ‘they don't fly second class’
      • ‘When I first laid eyes on the city of Ancona it was from the back of a hot, stuffy train, where I was awkwardly crammed into a second-class seat.’
      • ‘When the train started loading, the crowd mobbed the blue-green second-class carriages.’
      • ‘He travels by train second class on his senior rail card.’
      • ‘But we were young and stubborn and we thought there was simply no choice more obvious than the second class train.’
      • ‘I took my place in an empty second-class compartment, and sat there quietly till the train should start.’
      • ‘Five travellers share a second-class compartment on the Dover train.’
      • ‘The one possible problem with second-class compartments, especially on longer train rides, has always been the bathrooms.’
      • ‘This was to put two inches of foam on what passed for ‘reserved sleeper berths’ in the second-class sections of trains.’
      • ‘But there is the feeling, as far as the children are concerned, that they are in second class accommodation.’
      • ‘The remaining thirty accommodated eighty-three second-class passengers each.’
      • ‘The Bhil women, who clambered into the second-class compartment of a train for the first time, have made a symbolic statement.’
      • ‘I wish I didn't know that I have another second class train journey in the offing.’
      • ‘So he drives a battered Volvo, travels second class on the train and when he flies he always goes economy.’
      • ‘One does not sit in a first-class coach if the train ticket is for a second-class seat.’
      • ‘The train, which has seven second-class sleeper coaches with a pantry car, has 504 seats.’
      • ‘They travelled on a £26 second-class ticket under the false names Mr and Mrs Marshall.’
      • ‘And when she came to see him she also travelled via train with a second-class ticket.’
      • ‘These second-class tickets cost a very pretty penny, didn't they?’
      • ‘When I told them Sungai Golok they tried to tell me that both first and second-class carriages for the trains were booked out and suggested I try a VIP bus.’
      • ‘The fates of nations are shaped not only in boardrooms but in second-class train compartments.’
    2. 1.2 Relating to a class of mail having lower priority than first-class mail.
      as adjective ‘second-class postage stamps’
      • ‘During the same period, more than 90 per cent of second class mail arrived within three working days.’
      • ‘Postwatch has recommended that customers sending Christmas cards this year should always use second-class stamps because of Royal Mail's poor past performance in December.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the Royal Mail has met other operators to discuss services for bulk mail and second class post.’
      • ‘This allows registered newspapers to send papers on a first class service for second class rates.’
      • ‘Last week Postcomm finally approved a 1p rise in first and second-class mail rates from April, worth about £750m a year in extra revenues to Royal Mail.’
      • ‘Today is the latest posting date for second class mail.’
      • ‘Tomorrow is the last posting date for the second class mail.’
      • ‘Under the plans there would be five stamp prices for first and second class mail instead of the current 29.’
      • ‘And, the Royal Mail will be given the option to increase the cost of second class postage by another penny next year.’
      • ‘These were posted out to households at a cost of 13.3p each - we get a discount on second class postage.’
      • ‘It had been posted by regular UK second class mail and had presumably arrived on the same ship as Mandy's letter.’
      • ‘The company has been unable to reach delivery targets for first and second-class mail, partly due to delays caused by the poor state of Britain's rail system.’
      • ‘Buckingham Palace revealed that the Queen now sends second class mail when correspondence is not urgent.’
      • ‘This time next year, there will only be two of the existing services provided by Royal Mail still in existence - first and second class post.’
      • ‘Even under the old, creaky system, Postman Pat managed to deliver the bulk of first class and second class mail on time.’
      • ‘She said the Post Office was seeking to raise first class and second class postage by 1p each, a move that will bring in an extra £170m in a year.’
      • ‘Confusingly, second class mail sent to Bath arrived on Saturday, two days before a first class letter which was posted the same day.’
      • ‘During one eight-hour shift last week the reporter saw an estimated 7,000 pieces of first-class mail being handled with second-class post.’
      • ‘It costs just 65p on top of first or second class postage.’
      • ‘The daily Willesden-Norwich services are due to go by the end of July, and most of the trains carrying second class post will cease running during September.’
    3. 1.3 (in North America) denoting a class of mail which includes newspapers and periodicals.
      subordinate, minor, inferior, second-class, subservient, lowly, humble, servile, menial, mean
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4British as adjective Relating to the second-highest division in the results of the examinations for a university degree.
      ‘a respectable second-class degree’
      • ‘When Ferry got his lower second-class degree in 1968, he applied for a scholarship to the Royal College of Art, who turned him down.’
      • ‘People who move through the certificate course and get a second class grade two honours can transfer to the diploma course.’
      • ‘He had left university with a second-class honours degree after accidentally overdosing on benzedrine.’
      • ‘Aoife was in Dublin on Saturday to accept the first prize award in her category for first and second-class pupils.’
      • ‘Why are they saying you only took a second-class degree at Oxford?’

Pronunciation

second class