Definition of second class in English:

second class

noun

  • 1[in singular] A 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. 1.1The second-best accommodations or seating in an aircraft, train, or ship.
      • ‘I couldn't believe how nice second-class was on Japan's private trains.’
      • ‘It will maybe not be first-class, but even if it is second-class, it would be nice to be on that train.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘An Inter-Rail ticket entitles you to travel in second class on trains in the zones you've chosen.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘An attendant approaches her and tell her to move to the second class as she doesn't have a ticket for the first class.’
      • ‘For some reason I've always found myself standing in the carriage which is half second class and half Arriva Premiere class.’
      • ‘I have not heard if any people with first class tickets sat down in second 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’
      • ‘He was a gentleman and a scholar, having graduated in Harvard University's second class in dentistry in 1870.’
      • ‘And only six girls got second class in the tenth - all the others passed in first class.’

adjective & adverb

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

    [as adjective] ‘we will not be relegated to any second-class status’
    • ‘It seems incredible that West Yorkshire's second city should effectively be deemed second class as far as transport links are concerned.’
    • ‘For decades we were second-class citizens in the Soviet Union.’
    • ‘There will always be candidates, but first-class, and even second-class, candidates will be harder to get.’
    • ‘It is not the first time a cost-cutting exercise by the Royal Mail has lumbered Hampshire residents with a second-class service.’
    • ‘You really won't get people taking up sciences in class when the materials are second class and out of date or old.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There was no feeling of being second-class citizens or lesser beings.’
    • ‘Therefore promoters tend to treat local bands like second-class citizens, with quality control no longer a factor.’
    • ‘So don't waste any more time trying to be a second class somebody else and get on with being a first class you!’
    • ‘Malcolm received second class care I don't see why he should receive second class justice.’
    • ‘We would want to be sure that the doctors are properly trained so the victims are not getting a second-class service.’
    • ‘Britain was a ‘first-class country with second-class public services’ - partly because Labour could not reform them, the new Tory leader declared.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In an age when women can have it all, she decided to leave it all for second-class subservience.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We've got first class jails, second class schools.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We want these children to do as well as other children, not as second-class type of students.’
    • ‘The Bible is not a second-class subject, so make it a priority in the training of your children.’
    • ‘This lack of virtuosity befits Britain's second city, which is, appropriately, second class.’
    • ‘Therefore, they belong in the second class with other female beings.’
    second-rate, second-best, low-class, inferior, lesser, unimportant
    second-rate, second-best, low-class, inferior, lesser, unimportant
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Relating to the second-best accommodations or seating in an aircraft, train, or ship.
      [as adjective] ‘I want second-class tickets’
      [as adverb] ‘they don't fly second-class’
      • ‘So he drives a battered Volvo, travels second class on the train and when he flies he always goes economy.’
      • ‘The train, which has seven second-class sleeper coaches with a pantry car, has 504 seats.’
      • ‘One does not sit in a first-class coach if the train ticket is for a second-class seat.’
      • ‘This was to put two inches of foam on what passed for ‘reserved sleeper berths’ in the second-class sections of trains.’
      • ‘Five travellers share a second-class compartment on the Dover train.’
      • ‘The remaining thirty accommodated eighty-three second-class passengers each.’
      • ‘I wish I didn't know that I have another second class train journey in the offing.’
      • ‘And when she came to see him she also travelled via train with a second-class ticket.’
      • ‘The one possible problem with second-class compartments, especially on longer train rides, has always been the bathrooms.’
      • ‘The Bhil women, who clambered into the second-class compartment of a train for the first time, have made a symbolic statement.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I took my place in an empty second-class compartment, and sat there quietly till the train should start.’
      • ‘These second-class tickets cost a very pretty penny, didn't they?’
      • ‘But there is the feeling, as far as the children are concerned, that they are in second class accommodation.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They travelled on a £26 second-class ticket under the false names Mr and Mrs Marshall.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But we were young and stubborn and we thought there was simply no choice more obvious than the second class train.’
      • ‘The fates of nations are shaped not only in boardrooms but in second-class train compartments.’
    2. 1.2Relating to a class of mail having lower priority than first-class mail.
      [as adjective] ‘second-class postage stamps’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Tomorrow is the last posting date for the second class mail.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘During the same period, more than 90 per cent of second class mail arrived within three working days.’
      • ‘It had been posted by regular UK second class mail and had presumably arrived on the same ship as Mandy's letter.’
      • ‘This allows registered newspapers to send papers on a first class service for second class rates.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Buckingham Palace revealed that the Queen now sends second class mail when correspondence is not urgent.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the Royal Mail has met other operators to discuss services for bulk mail and second class post.’
      • ‘It costs just 65p on top of first or second class postage.’
      • ‘These were posted out to households at a cost of 13.3p each - we get a discount on second class postage.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And, the Royal Mail will be given the option to increase the cost of second class postage by another penny next year.’
      • ‘Even under the old, creaky system, Postman Pat managed to deliver the bulk of first class and second class mail on time.’
      • ‘Today is the latest posting date for second class mail.’
      • ‘Under the plans there would be five stamp prices for first and second class mail instead of the current 29.’
    3. 1.3(in North America) denoting a class of mail that includes newspapers and periodicals.
    4. 1.4British [as adjective]Relating to the second-highest division in a university examination.
      ‘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.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘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.’