Meaning of CLASS in English


I. ˈklas, -aa(ə)s, -ais, -ȧs noun

( -es )

Usage: often attributive

Etymology: French classe, from Latin classis class, men called to arms, fleet; akin to Latin calare to call, summon — more at low


a. : one group of a usually society-wide grouping of people according to social status, political or economic similarities, or interests or ways of life in common

the ruling class

the upper and lower classes

the entrepreneurial class

these occupational classes are admittedly not internally homogeneous in respect to such class criteria as “income”, “prestige” or “social equality” — Louis Schneider

class -conscious behavior

— see caste

b. : social rank ; especially : high social rank

a feeling of class

c. : an economic or social rank above that of the proletariat

the classes as opposed to the masses

— usually used in plural

d. : high quality or outstanding ability : mettle

the actors were adequate but without real class

e. slang : elegance in appearance or outward behavior : ostentation — usually used to express naīve admiration

this hotel certainly has class

or ironic appraisal — see classy


a. : a course of instruction especially considered apart from other courses

education can no longer be separated into courses or classes in half a dozen main subjects

b. : a body of students meeting regularly to study the same subject under the guidance of an instructor, to listen to lectures, or to engage in guided discussions or in recitations

a Spanish class

a Bible class

c. : the period during which such a body meets or the meeting itself

d. at Brit universities : the final rating achieved by a student reading for Honours

a First- Class Honours degree

— distinguished from pass

e. : a body of alumni who have graduated or of students who expect to graduate in the same year from the same institution : a body of students having similar academic standing

donated by the class of 1925

f. : a church group consisting of approximately 12 members under the direction of a class leader formed for religious study and instruction in early Methodism and continued in some Methodist bodies today

3. : a group, set, or kind marked by common attributes or a common attribute

any class or description of persons — R.B.Taney

such contraptions are symbolic of a whole class of labor-saving devices — F.L.Allen


a. : a major category in biological taxonomy ranking above the order, in modern taxonomy falling below the phylum or division and in the Linnaean system being the highest category

the class Musci includes all the mosses

b. : set 44b

4. : a group, division, distinction, or rating based on quality, degree of competence, or condition

a class of travel accommodation

a class A movie

a class B tuberculosis patient

5. : one of the genders usually not associated with sex and often greatly exceeding three in number into which nouns are divided in the Bantu languages and some others


category , genus , species , denomination , genre , predicament : these words are herein discussed only in their general, nonspecialized use, and the following comments may be inapplicable to such studies as philosophy and the sciences. class is a very general term for a group including all individuals with a common characteristic

as soon as we employ a name to connote attributes, the things … which happen to possess those attributes are constituted ipso facto as a class — J.S.Mill

class sometimes suggests a value judgment as a basis of classification

a libel of the lowest class, both in sentiment and language — T.B.Macaulay

the class of nominal Christians for whom there might be a chance — R.M.Lovett

category may be interchangeable with class but is sometimes more precise in suggesting classification or grouping on the basis of a certain readily perceived criterion or on a predication, often an explicit one

we cannot approach a work of art with our laws and categories. We have to comprehend the artist's own values — Havelock Ellis

none of the writings of the fathers of the English Chuch belongs to the category of speculatve philosophy — T.S.Eliot

genus and species , scientific in their suggestion, may differ in that the first may imply a larger, less specific group, the latter a smaller, more specific one

English society, in other words, is … a species of a larger cultural genus — Morris Watnick

the word “infringement” is almost never used to describe acts of the genus, unfair competition. It is applied only to the species, namely trademark misuse — Beverly W. Pattishall

denomination usually indicates that the group under consideration has been or may be named explicitly and clearly; it is common in religious use

Methodist, Presbyterian, and other denominations

and use with a series of closely related units

denominations of currency

genre refers to a specific, named type; its use is mainly restricted to literature and art

some of his prose poems, a genre … which he invented — Saturday Review

the larger literary types or genres, such as the drama or novel — Max Lerner & Edwin Mims

predicament is a rather uncommon synonym for category , especially in situations showing a close Aristotelian connection.

II. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-es )

1. : to divide or distribute into classes : classify

class wool by grade and staple

2. : to place in a class — often used with with or among

classed as one of the world's greatest men

III. noun

1. : a group of adjacent and discrete or continuous values of a random variable

2. : a mathematical set ; especially : a collection of all the sets having a particular property

the class of groups includes all possible mathematical groups

— see category herein

3. : the best of its kind

the class of the league

4. : a data type in object-oriented programming that consists of a group of programming objects with the same properties and behaviors and that is arranged in a hierarchy with other such data types — compare object herein

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.