Meaning of CLASSICAL in English


I. -sə̇kəl, -sēk- adjective

Etymology: New Latin, class is + English -ical

: of or relating to a classis especially in the Reformed Church or to the system of polity of which it is a part

II. adjective

Etymology: Latin classic us + English -al

1. : classic II 1a, 1b


a. : of or relating to the ancient Greek and Roman world, especially to its literature, art, architecture, or ideals

the strong influence of classical civilization upon the western world

b. : having order, balance, restraint or other qualities felt to derive from or suggest those characteristic of the literature, art, architecture, or ideals of ancient Greece and Rome

a classical serenity of mood

a classical integration of artistic elements

: conforming to the models of or the rules derived from or felt to be derived from the Greek and Roman classics; especially : neoclassic — compare romantic

c. : specializing in or devoted to the literature or the languages of ancient Greece and Rome

a classical scholar

d. : of or relating to places inhabited by the Greeks and Romans or rendered famous by their deeds, art, or writings

a trip to the classical islands of the Aegean


(1) : appealing to critical interest or developed musical taste or conforming to an established and elaborated form of the art (as the fugue, suite, or sonata) — compare romantic

(2) : relating to a musical composition characterized by classicism or to a composer of such music

(3) : relating to art music or all music other than popular music or music for entertainment


a. : regarded as of first historical significance — used of a coherent and authoritative theory, method, or body of ideas commonly after new developments or general change of view have made it less authoritative

b. : of or relating to a form or system felt to be of first significance before modern times: as

(1) : based on formerly generally accepted concepts in physics, especially the mechanics of Newton and the electromagnetic theories of Maxwell : not involving relativity, wave mechanics, or quantum theory

(2) : of or relating to the evolutionist school of anthropologists

(3) : of or relating to the economics doctrines that were developed largely in England by Adam Smith, David Ricardo, T. R. Malthus, and J. S. Mill prior to 1848 and that constituted the first unified explanation of the capitalist system

(4) : relating to the theory of penal reform mainly associated with the Italian jurist Beccaria (1738-?1794) and notable for its emphasis on deterrence and punishment proportional to the grievousness of the criminal act

(5) : of, relating to, or felt to suggest traditional ballet (as in formality or grace of movement)

c. : of any form or system felt to be the authentic, authoritative, or time-tested one in comparison with later modified or more radical forms deriving from it

the classical goals of socialism

a classical folk dance

a classical golf swing

d. : classic I 5

a classical study of juvenile delinquency

4. : classic I 4

5. : classic I 6

the classical symptoms of alcoholism

6. : classic I 7

the classical cure for malaria

7. of language : conforming to a pattern of usage sanctioned by a body of literature rather than by everyday speech

classical Arabic

8. : concerned with or giving instruction in the humanities, the fine arts, and the broad aspects of science

a classical high school

a classical curriculum

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