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[klas-uh-fi-key-shuh n] /ˌklæs ə fɪˈkeɪ ʃən/
the act of classifying.
the result of classifying or being classified.
one of the groups or classes into which things may be or have been classified.
Biology. the assignment of organisms to groups within a system of categories distinguished by structure, origin, etc. The usual series of categories is phylum (or, especially in botany, division), class, order, family, genus, species, and variety.
the category, as restricted, confidential, secret, or top secret, to which information, a document, etc., is assigned, as by a government or military agency, based on the degree of protection considered necessary to safeguard it from unauthorized use.
Library Science. any of various systems for arranging books and other materials, especially according to subject or format.
Origin of classification
1780-90; < Latin classi(s) class + -fication
Related forms
[kluh-sif-i-kuh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, klas-uh-fi- or, esp. British, klas-uh-fi-key-tuh-ree] /kləˈsɪf ɪ kəˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i, ˈklæs ə fɪ- or, esp. British, ˌklæs ə fɪˈkeɪ tə ri/ (Show IPA),
clasificatorily, adverb
classificational, adjective
misclassification, noun
nonclassification, noun
overclassification, noun
preclassification, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for classification
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I know it is said that this means the classification of local preachers.

    Samantha Among the Brethren, Part 7. Josiah Allen's Wife (Marietta Holley)
  • Of course, the classification sometimes overlaps, like all classification.

    Alarms and Discursions G. K. Chesterton
  • He was quick in his classification, for he knew them at once for man-animal noises.

    White Fang Jack London
  • The classification of freights applies to all the lines, regardless of class.

    The Railroad Question William Larrabee
  • When these rates and the classification conflict, these rates will govern.

    The Railroad Question William Larrabee
British Dictionary definitions for classification


systematic placement in categories
one of the divisions in a system of classifying
  1. the placing of animals and plants in a series of increasingly specialized groups because of similarities in structure, origin, molecular composition, etc, that indicate a common relationship. The major groups are domain or superkingdom, kingdom, phylum (in animals) or division (in plants), class, order, family, genus, and species
  2. the study of the principles and practice of this process; taxonomy
(government) the designation of an item of information as being secret and not available to people outside a restricted group
Derived Forms
classificational, adjective
classificatory, adjective
Word Origin
C18: from French; see class, -ify, -ation
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for classification

1772, "action of classifying," noun of action from Latin stem of classify, or from French classification. Meaning "result of classifying" is from 1789.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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classification in Medicine

classification clas·si·fi·ca·tion (klās'ə-fĭ-kā'shən)

  1. A systematic arrangement into classes or groups.

  2. The systematic grouping of organisms into categories on the basis of evolutionary or structural relationships between them; taxonomy.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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classification in Science
The systematic grouping of organisms according to the structural or evolutionary relationships among them. Organisms are normally classified by observed similarities in their body and cell structure or by evolutionary relationships based on the analysis of sequences of their DNA. See more at cladistics, Linnean. See Table at taxonomy.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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