One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Roman History. The system of dividing Roman property owners into classes for military service, according to wealth.
2The system of dividing Methodist congregations into classes.
3US. The system in American colleges and universities in which a student's courses, examinations, social life, etc., are determined chiefly by their class, as opposed to personal achievement or individual decisions. Now historical.
4The division of society into social classes; the particular form or nature of this division in a given society.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in George Grote (1794–1871), historian and politician. From class + system.
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