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[klas, klahs] /klæs, klɑs/
a number of persons or things regarded as forming a group by reason of common attributes, characteristics, qualities, or traits; kind; sort:
a class of objects used in daily living.
a group of students meeting regularly to study a subject under the guidance of a teacher:
The class had arrived on time for the lecture.
the period during which a group of students meets for instruction.
a meeting of a group of students for instruction.
a number of pupils in a school, or of students in a college, pursuing the same studies, ranked together, or graduated in the same year:
She graduated from Ohio State, class of '72.
a social stratum sharing basic economic, political, or cultural characteristics, and having the same social position:
Artisans form a distinct class in some societies.
the system of dividing society; caste.
social rank, especially high rank.
the members of a given group in society, regarded as a single entity.
any division of persons or things according to rank or grade:
Hotels were listed by class, with the most luxurious ones listed first.
excellence; exceptional merit:
She's a good performer, but she lacks class.
Hinduism. any of the four social divisions, the Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaisya, and Shudra, of Hindu society; varna.
Compare caste (def 2).
Informal. elegance, grace, or dignity, as in dress and behavior:
He may be a slob, but his brother has real class.
any of several grades of accommodations available on ships, airplanes, and the like:
We bought tickets for first class.
Informal. the best or among the best of its kind:
This new plane is the class of the wide-bodied airliners.
Biology. the usual major subdivision of a phylum or division in the classification of organisms, usually consisting of several orders.
British University. any of three groups into which candidates for honors degrees are divided according to merit on the basis of final examinations.
drafted or conscripted soldiers, or persons available for draft or conscription, all of whom were born in the same year.
Grammar. form class.
Ecclesiastical. classis.
(in early Methodism) one of several small companies, each composed of about 12 members under a leader, into which each society or congregation was divided.
Statistics. a group of measurements that fall within a specified interval.
Mathematics. a set; a collection.
the classes, the higher ranks of society, as distinguished from the masses.
Informal. of high quality, integrity, status, or style:
class players on a mediocre team.
verb (used with object)
to place or arrange in a class; classify:
to class justice with wisdom.
verb (used without object)
to take or have a place in a particular class:
those who class as believers.
Verb phrases
class up, Informal. to improve the quality, tone, or status of; add elegance, dignity, style, etc., to:
The new carpet and curtains really class up this room.
Origin of class
1590-1600; earlier classis, plural classes < Latin: class, division, fleet, army; singular class back formation from plural
Related forms
classable, adjective
classer, noun
misclass, verb
reclass, verb (used with object)
unclassable, adjective
unclassed, adjective
well-classed, adjective
Can be confused
cast, caste, class.
27. group, categorize, type, rank, rate.
Usage note Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for unclassed
Historical Examples
  • First, to what caste should these unclassed strangers belong?

  • It is unclassed—at least its position as Indo-European is doubtful.

    Man and His Migrations

    R. G. (Robert Gordon) Latham
  • It undermines one's sense of self-importance to find how quickly one can be unclassed.

    The Lightning Conductor C. N. Williamson
  • If she loses it, she is unclassed entirely, and enters the half-world.

  • There came a horrid wrench when I had to remember that I had chosen to make myself one of the unclassed, one of the "others."

    The Lightning Conductor C. N. Williamson
  • If Spurrier had not been candid with him, at all events he had, perhaps, not unclassed himself.

  • What attracted him now was the unclassed woman, the woman that bewilders the observer and the oldest Parisian.

    Rene Mauperin

    Edmond de Goncourt and Jules de Goncourt
  • Would it not be better to be unclassed—to live among people who help each other much because they have little to give?

    Great Possessions

    Mrs. Wilfrid Ward
  • Maseden, feeling oddly remote and unclassed among men of his own race, followed the second officer to the forecastle deck.

    His Unknown Wife Louis Tracy
  • A gentleman of culture, used to the best society, give a thought to such an unclassed individual?

    That Girl Montana Marah Ellis Ryan
British Dictionary definitions for unclassed


a collection or division of people or things sharing a common characteristic, attribute, quality, or property
a group of persons sharing a similar social position and certain economic, political, and cultural characteristics
(in Marxist theory) a group of persons sharing the same relationship to the means of production
  1. the pattern of divisions that exist within a society on the basis of rank, economic status, etc
  2. (as modifier): the class struggle, class distinctions
  1. a group of pupils or students who are taught and study together
  2. a meeting of a group of students for tuition
(mainly US) a group of students who graduated in a specified year: the class of '53
(in combination and as modifier) (Brit) a grade of attainment in a university honours degree: second-class honours
one of several standards of accommodation in public transport See also first class, second class, third class
  1. (informal) excellence or elegance, esp in dress, design, or behaviour: that girl's got class
  2. (as modifier): a class act
  1. outstanding speed and stamina in a racehorse
  2. (as modifier): the class horse in the race
(biology) any of the taxonomic groups into which a phylum is divided and which contains one or more orders. Amphibia, Reptilia, and Mammalia are three classes of phylum Chordata
(maths, logic)
  1. another name for set2 (sense 3)
  2. proper class, a class which cannot itself be a member of other classes
in a class of its own, in a class by oneself, unequalled; unparalleled
to have or assign a place within a group, grade, or class
Derived Forms
classable, adjective
classer, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin classis class, rank, fleet; related to Latin calāre to summon
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 unclassed



c.1600, "group of students," from French classe (14c.), from Latin classis "a class, a division; army, fleet," especially "any one of the six orders into which Servius Tullius divided the Roman people for the purpose of taxation;" traditionally originally "the people of Rome under arms" (a sense attested in English from 1650s), and thus akin to calare "to call (to arms)," from PIE root *kele- (2) "to shout" (see claim (v.)). In early use in English also in Latin form classis.

School and university sense of "course, lecture" (1650s) is from the notion of a form or lecture reserved to scholars who had attained a certain level. Natural history sense is from 1753. Meaning "a division of society according to status" (upper, lower, etc.) is from 1772. Meaning "high quality" is from 1847. Class-consciousness (1903) is from German klassenbewusst.



1705, "to divide into classes," from class (n.) or French classer. Sense of "to place into a class" is from 1776. Related: Classed; classing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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unclassed in Medicine

class (klās)
A taxonomic category ranking below a phylum or division and above an order.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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unclassed in Science
A taxonomic category of organisms ranking above an order and below a phylum or division. In modern taxonomic schemes, the names of classes end in -phyceae for the various groups of algae, -mycetes for fungi, and -opsida for plants (as in Liliopsida, the class of plants also termed monocotyledons). The names of classes belonging to phyla of the animal kingdom, however, are formed in various ways, as Osteichthyes the bony fishes, Aves, the birds, and Mammalia, the mammals, all of which are classes belonging to the subphylum Vertebrata (the vertebrates) in the phylum Chordata. See Table at taxonomy.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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unclassed in Culture

class definition

A group of people sharing the same social, economic, or occupational status. The term class usually implies a social and economic hierarchy, in which those of higher class standing have greater status, privilege, prestige, and authority. Western societies have traditionally been divided into three classes: the upper or leisure class, the middle class (bourgeoisie), and the lower or working class. For Marxists, the significant classes are the bourgeoisie and the proletariat.

class definition

In biology, the classification beneath a phylum and above an order. (See Linnean classification.)

Note: Mammals, reptiles, and insects are classes.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for unclassed



: a real class joint


High quality; admirable style; cachet: quiet dignity under fire, real class (1870s+)

Related Terms


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with unclassed


see: cut class
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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