Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

class - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun     class pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    [countable] one of the groups into which people in a society are divided according to their family background, education, job, or income

    He appealed to people of all classes.

    Craftsmen of the period clearly belonged to a lower-middle class.

    a social class:

    The proposal would unite women of all social classes.

    the ruling classes:

    The members of the ruling classes have always been envied.

    1. a.
      [uncountable] the existence of differences that cause people to be divided into different social groups
      social class:

      the relationship between social class and educational achievement

      a class system:

      A rigid class system still prevails throughout the country.

      class differences:

      a community with marked class differences

  2. 2
    [countable] a group of students who are taught together: can be followed by a singular or plural verb

    What class is Sophie in now?

    Weren’t you two in the same class at school?

    My class are all going – why can’t I?

    1. a.
      [countable/uncountable] a period of time during which a group of students is taught together

      I’ve got classes all afternoon.

      in class:

      We had to write an essay in class.

      a French/maths/science etc class:

      I’ve got a French class first thing this morning.

    2. b.
      [countable] a course of lessons in a particular subject

      I go to my art class on Mondays.

      You could join an exercise class at your local sports centre.

      take a class in something (=study it):

      I’ve started taking classes in car maintenance.

      teach a class:

      Since qualifying in 1986, she has taught regular classes for adults.

    3. c.
      [countable] [usually singular] mainly American a group of people who finish a course of study together in the same year

      He attended his class reunion at Cornell University.

      the class of ’64/’81/1995 etc:

      He graduated in the class of ’87.

  3. 4
    [countable] one of the standards of service available to someone travelling by train, plane etc
  4. 5
    [countable] British one of the levels that a university degree qualification is divided into according to how well you do in your final examinations. These are first class, second class, and third class.
  5. 6
    [countable] one of the groups into which people are divided in a competition

    Andrews won his class by a massive 10-minute margin.

  6. 7
    [uncountable] informal impressive natural style, ability, or skill that someone has

    I’ll say this much for him: he’s got class.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter


a lifestyle focussing on simple pleasures such as comfort and cosiness in the home, and spending time with friends and family

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary


a form of location that involves the underwater detonation of a bomb which causes sound waves that are picked up by ships

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play