- an endogamous and hereditary social group limited to persons of the same rank, occupation, economic position, etc., and having mores distinguishing it from other such groups.
- any rigid system of social distinctions.
Origin of caste
Examples from the Web for caste
After all, caste is the most resistant feature of our politics, so why not just make it the basis for states formation?
If races are our castes, then this makes sense, since—in a caste system—your status is mostly a function of your position.
When one caste gains too much power, it brings its own brand of disaster.
“You may belong to any religion or caste or creed – that has nothing to do with the business of the State,” he declared.Why Pakistan's Mohammed Ali Jinnah Was No Nelson Mandela|Kapil Komireddi|April 7, 2013|DAILY BEAST
We deeply feel the heart-touching good wishes of the people across the world of all caste, color, and creed.
For a father to start a son in any calling but his own, or a vocation that is similar, would be "against his caste."East of Suez|Frederic Courtland Penfield
Nowhere else, they say, would people consent to wear the servile badge of their caste.Meccania|Owen Gregory
It can make no difference; they have lost the old energy of their caste in luxury and idleness.
All life is reduced into an unceasing ritual under the perpetual priestly surveillance of caste.India, Its Life and Thought|John P. Jones
But perhaps the opposition of the Brahmins is less to be feared by the missionary than the popular veneration for caste.The Lives of the Saints, Volume II (of 16): February|Sabine Baring-Gould
British Dictionary definitions for caste
Word Origin for caste
Word Origin and History for caste
1550s, "a race of men," from Latin castus "chaste," from castus "cut off, separated; pure" (via notion of "cut off" from faults), past participle of carere "to be cut off from" (and related to castration), from PIE *kas-to-, from root *kes- "to cut" (cf. Latin cassus "empty, void"). Originally spelled cast in English and later often merged with cast (n.) in its secondary sense "sort, kind, style."
Application to Hindu social groups was picked up by English in India 1610s from Portuguese casta "breed, race, caste," earlier casta raça, "unmixed race," from the same Latin word. The current spelling of of the English word is from this reborrowing. Caste system is first recorded 1840.
Science definitions for caste
Culture definitions for caste
One of the four hereditary social divisions in Hinduism. Members of any one caste are restricted in their choice of occupation and may have only limited association with members of other castes.