Definition of class in US English:



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

    ‘the accommodations were good for a hotel of this class’
    ‘a new class of heart drug’
    • ‘Aristotle recognizes different sociopolitical classes or categories of women and men.’
    • ‘There will be 10 pedigree classes but also numerous categories for pet pooches, including one for the dog with the waggiest tail.’
    • ‘It is not possible to show that every instance of the subject class has this property.’
    • ‘Following the rules of scientific classification systems, the goal was to create classes or categories that did not overlap.’
    • ‘The results were similar for different classes of antidepressant drugs and subgroups of patients.’
    • ‘After that he entertained the fans to batting of the highest class, with quality strokes to all parts of the ground.’
    • ‘He divides all the Greek philosophers into two classes: those of the Ionic and those of the Italic school.’
    • ‘Information needed for traffic inference can be categorized into two broad classes: deterministic and measured.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But it might have a positive effect on use of drugs of a different class.’
    • ‘You obviously need to know in terms of classes or categories what sort of people are making the claims against the company.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There may be different classes of common shares, some with voting privileges and some without.’
    • ‘When blood pressure control is not achieved, a second drug from a different class is added.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘But make no mistake, this is a quality production and a class apart from the norm in the West End.’
    • ‘Not only are there too many classes, but for some classes there are no common definitions.’
    • ‘It does not fit well in any of the categories or classes of ‘old’ or ‘new’ social movements.’
    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.’
      • ‘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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  • 2The system of ordering a society in which people are divided into sets based on perceived social or economic status.

    ‘people who are socially disenfranchised by class’
    as modifier ‘the class system’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These are mostly consumer and lifestyle issues… things based on money, class, and economics.’
    • ‘Indeed, involvement in global trade and finance is often as much a function of class as the North-South divide.’
    • ‘Agriculture, religion, economics and even social class were affected.’
    • ‘The old two-tier class system will become three-tier and the most disadvantaged will have been sold down the river.’
    • ‘Although these divisions are more complex than what we commonsensically mean by class, this system has a number of advantages.’
    • ‘Marx's collaborator Frederick Engels argued that women's oppression was as old as class society.’
    • ‘The central characteristic of the society we live in is that it is divided by class.’
    • ‘The society is characterised by class relations between producers and parasites.’
    • ‘The end of the 19th Century really marked the time when novels of class made their appearance here.’
    • ‘Traditionally supporters have been divided by history, class and politics.’
    • ‘The domination of social and economic class jumps out of page after page.’
    • ‘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.’
    social division, social order, social stratum, rank, level, echelon, group, grouping, set, caste
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    1. 2.1 A social division based on social or economic status.
      ‘the ruling class’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘How do we get back middle class white collar voters?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Pensioners do not want to feel ignored and be treated as second class citizens.’
      • ‘Next, the assault on this country's middle class is continuing.’
      • ‘The propertied class and the class of the proletariat represent the same human self-alienation.’
      • ‘Poor people's energies should be refocused in united actions against the capitalist ruling class.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The assault on this country's middle class just doesn't quit.’
      • ‘A deeply divided political class nourished a range of conflicting and often utopian ideological goals.’
      • ‘We must unite beyond the boundaries of race, class, belief systems and age that all too often divide us.’
      • ‘There was no private ownership of property among the Guardian class, no marriage, and no family life.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In the working class suburbs of Paris youth unemployment stands at up to 50 percent.’
      • ‘Yet, once you sink into the absolutely hilarious escapades of the English upper class, his books are delightful.’
      • ‘The English ruling class had men of high calibre to call upon.’
      • ‘They live in a modest apartment in a lower middle class suburb of New York.’
      • ‘In some working class suburbs in Buenos Aires unemployment has hit 80 percent.’
      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 behavior.
      ‘she's got class—she looks like a princess’
      • ‘The place has class, style and everything else you need to have a good time.’
      • ‘The domain whites are wines of concentration, class, and distinction.’
      • ‘There's no question that this drum and bass act's debut oozes class and sophistication.’
      • ‘I was unimpressed by the bathroom, a one-room water closet with no real class.’
      • ‘Superb scores they were too, one better than the next in a show of real class.’
      • ‘They could also do with a centre-forward, a forward or two of real class and a reliable free taker.’
      • ‘Only playmakers of real class can conjure magic out of thin air.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He exuded class, confidence and style and for a heavily-built man was very agile and nimble.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 was excellent all through with a couple of his saves having the mark of real class.’
      • ‘The game needed a touch of real class and the Frenchman provided it.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Register today and get ready to network in style, class, and executive elegance.’
      style, stylishness, elegance, chic, sophistication, taste, refinement
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  • 3A group of students who are taught together.

    • ‘The basic problem in state schools is not that pupils are taught together in classes which are too large.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Another Sunday school teacher asked her class why it was necessary to be quiet in church.’
    • ‘Teachers in Queensland schools are required to teach classes of 30 students.’
    • ‘The size of the classes taught should also be considered.’
    • ‘The teacher might create the following types of problem for the whole class to solve together.’
    • ‘When the class comes back together, each member of the pair introduces the other in detail.’
    • ‘I was really privileged being in the last class of graduate students taught by my theory of international law guru.’
    • ‘She teaches a class of 27 pupils aged five to eight.’
    • ‘They all did the best they could and they had to teach to a level the class as a whole could handle.’
    • ‘The assignment produced good information and bound the class together in an interesting way.’
    • ‘There is circle time every week, where a whole class will sit together to talk about anything that is worrying them.’
    • ‘Teaching a class of thirty students in the style that I have outlined here would not work.’
    • ‘The private school opened in 1994 and has 32 pupils, who are generally taught in classes of 14 pupils.’
    • ‘When we came to this school, we were placed in different classes.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘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.’
    form, study group, school group, set, stream, band
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    1. 3.1 An occasion when students meet with their teacher for instruction; a lesson.
      ‘I was late for a class’
      • ‘He would even interrupt classes to ask teachers to solve the crossword clues that he could not solve.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The point here is that teachers can use the class as a community to support learning.’
      • ‘That means classes are taught in English, and students earn degrees by accruing credits.’
      • ‘These programs often have many art teachers in the classes.’
      • ‘I thought today's class went the best of the three and heard some encouraging feedback which was very cool.’
      • ‘They get marked on behaviour, punctuality, contributions in class, quality of work and work completed.’
      • ‘The science class started, and I actually had to pay attention.’
      • ‘Checking his watch, he found that he only had ten more minutes before his math class started.’
      • ‘The strike went ahead although teachers did not suspend classes at high schools.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Anyhow, this is how today's class went.’
      • ‘When I was at school I disrupted the classes, and the teachers couldn't handle me.’
      • ‘Sam met with her friends for a short while before her science class started.’
      • ‘They sat next to each other in class and were impressed by each other's work.’
      • ‘Just like a school teacher has their class planned out for the next day, so must you.’
      • ‘The teacher continued with the class, explaining the machine and how to avoid being caught out and giving each person a turn.’
      • ‘Teachers resisted beginning classes later, and thus extending the school day, for the sake of accommodating breakfasts.’
      lesson, period, period of instruction
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    2. 3.2 A course of instruction.
      ‘I took classes in Indian music’
      • ‘I took the freshman class at my old school since things were a little different there.’
      • ‘This last course is a class for art education majors and art majors interested in teaching.’
      • ‘I'm a college professor, teaching a freshman composition class at a small pacific northwestern university.’
      • ‘Now I'm writing an essay on the service industry and the focus on quantity over quality for my sociology class.’
      • ‘One nurse had not worked in nursing for a few years and was taking the class as a refresher course.’
      • ‘He also taught classes on ethics and ancient philosophy.’
      • ‘She teaches a popular upper level class on artificial intelligence.’
      • ‘That's because the quality of gym classes varies widely.’
      • ‘In addition she was asked to be the course coordinator, arranging classes and tutors and helping prepare class notes.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘At age fourteen, she taught island children by day and conducted night classes for numerous adults.’
      • ‘Many martial arts schools offer classes for both adults and children.’
      • ‘The study concludes that while there might be quality teaching in individual classes in secondary schools, the disjointed approach does not serve pupils well.’
      • ‘The benefit of knowing what students were taught in previous classes is obvious.’
      • ‘It is impressive that parents help in school libraries, develop classes, give lectures, and do administration tasks.’
      • ‘Check your local newspaper for classified listings that advertise affordable evening classes for adults.’
      • ‘I take dance classes at my school and outside of my college.’
      • ‘Being able to review the coursework from other classes is a practical benefit that faculty members find appealing.’
      • ‘She's taking a math class on campus.’
      programme of study, course of study, educational programme, set of lectures, curriculum, syllabus, schedule
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    3. 3.3North American All those graduating from a school or college in a particular year.
      ‘the class of 1907’
      • ‘The War Room already has a clear focus on the top prospects in the class of 2003.’
      • ‘He grew up in a small town in Minnesota and graduated from West Point in the class of 1930.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There's also the draft, but this year's class does not appear to be very strong.’
      • ‘Students from the class of 1964 along with their past teachers had a great night of craic and memories.’
      • ‘The recruiting class is an impressive one, but a bit of a decline is in order this season.’
      • ‘He is a fine prospect, one of the best point guards in the class of 2005.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She had been informed six months before that the class of 2005 was to have a ten year reunion.’
      • ‘The planting of ivy by the graduating class began in 1852.’
      • ‘She has been getting good grades right through her school and last year she bagged the first rank in her class.’
      • ‘No doubt their absence has muted the impact of the class of 2004 on the college game.’
      • ‘Despite showing a talent for modern languages and mathematics he was only ranked 46th in his 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘With diplomas in hand the class of Capitol Diamond High leaves the field with smiles.’


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

    ‘conduct that is classed as criminal’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘First off, you have to determine was exactly would be classed as public.’
    • ‘Indeed it was officially classed as the ninth largest city in the British Empire.’
    • ‘For example a person arrested for being disorderly would be classed as having perpetrated a violent crime.’
    • ‘Manure from privately kept horses is classed as household waste and will be exempt from the tax.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The problem is that any sort of spending in Scottish football is classed as splashing the cash.’
    • ‘Under the smoking ban legislation, a moving vehicle could be classed as a workplace.’
    • ‘Others can be classed as motor vehicles meaning riders need to wear a crash helmet and have a licence and insurance.’
    • ‘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".’
    • ‘Cold cases are classed as undetected crimes that are two or more years old and are not being currently investigated.’
    • ‘It gives new rights to walk over private land that can be classed as mountain, moorland, heathland or down.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The offences are classed as violent crimes along with violence against a person, wounding and robbery.’
    • ‘But it does use two materials which means it is still classed as a high-risk site.’
    • ‘Consequently 87 of the 139 prisons in England and Wales are now officially classed as overcrowded.’
    • ‘For taxation purposes, the deal has been officially classed as a demerger rather than a management buyout.’
    • ‘He said: "The stench up there was unbelievable and what they removed was classed as hazardous waste."’
    • ‘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
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  • attributive Showing stylish excellence.

    ‘he's a class player’
    • ‘They are both similar players and are all-round class players.’
    • ‘He again showed 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It's disappointing straight after the match, but I was beaten by a class player.’
    • ‘He is a class player, but he totally lost it and should have been sent off a lot earlier.’
    • ‘Do you have any suggestions for me, and do a lot of class chess players experience the same thing?’
    • ‘He won the penalty and showed what a class player he is.’
    • ‘‘Jason is a class player and you have got to play brilliant pool to beat him,’ Chris said.’
    • ‘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 is a class player and he worked well to make breaks and get through our defence.’
    • ‘Even if they do decide to go in without him they still have class players all over the pitch.’
    • ‘But understand this, the requirement of any golf course is that it separates the class players from the rest.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He's a class player and hit 3 centuries in the last Ashes campaign.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There are no stupid comments about having 24 class players.’
    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 act

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

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The leader ran on like a real class act and finished really well to clock 30: 04.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But she didn't let this bother her at all and she proved to be a real class act.’
  • in a class of its (or one's) own

    • Unequaled, especially in excellence or performance.

      ‘the delicacy of English roses puts them in a class of their own’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She said: ‘It was a rollercoaster of emotions, I have supported England all the way, but Brazil 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.’
      • ‘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!’
      • ‘The resentful intellectuals of France, however, are 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.’
      • ‘For talent, performance, courage, survival and luck, both are in a class of their own.’
      • ‘It's this range of inventiveness that puts these improvisations 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’.