class - definition and synonyms


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  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.