View synonyms for classical


[ klas-i-kuhl ]


  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of Greek and Roman antiquity:

    classical literature;

    classical languages.

  2. conforming to ancient Greek and Roman models in literature or art, or to later systems modeled upon them.
  3. marked by classicism:

    classical simplicity.

  4. Music.
    1. of, relating to, or constituting the formally and artistically more sophisticated and enduring types of music, as distinguished from popular and folk music and jazz. Classical music includes symphonies, operas, sonatas, song cycles, and lieder.
    2. of, pertaining to, characterized by, or adhering to the well-ordered, chiefly homophonic musical style of the latter half of the 18th and the early 19th centuries:

      Haydn and Mozart are classical composers.

  5. Architecture.
    1. noting or pertaining to the architecture of ancient Greece and Rome, especially the religious and public architecture, characterized by the employment of orders. Compare order ( def 27b ).
    2. noting or pertaining to any of several styles of architecture closely imitating the architecture of ancient Greece or Rome; neoclassic.
    3. noting or pertaining to architectural details or motifs adapted from ancient Greek or Roman models.
    4. (of an architectural design) simple, reposeful, well-proportioned, or symmetrical in a manner suggesting the architecture of ancient Greece and Rome.
  6. (often initial capital letter) pertaining to or designating the style of fine arts, especially painting and sculpture, developed in Greece during the 5th and 4th centuries b.c., chiefly characterized by balanced composition, the separation of figures from an architectural background, and the naturalistic rendering of anatomical details, spatial movement, and distribution of weight in a figure. Compare archaic ( def 4 ), Hellenistic ( def 5 ).
  7. of or relating to a style of literature and art characterized by conformity to established treatments, taste, or critical standards, and by attention to form with the general effect of regularity, simplicity, balance, proportion, and controlled emotion ( romantic ).
  8. pertaining to or versed in the ancient classics:

    a classical scholar.

  9. relating to or teaching academic branches of knowledge, as the humanities, general sciences, etc., as distinguished from technical subjects.
  10. (of a given field of knowledge) accepted as standard and authoritative, as distinguished from novel or experimental:

    classical physics.

  11. Ecclesiastical. pertaining to a classis.


  1. classical music:

    a jazz pianist who studied classical for years.


/ ˈklæsɪkəl /


  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of the ancient Greeks and Romans or their civilization, esp in the period of their ascendancy
  2. designating, following, or influenced by the art or culture of ancient Greece or Rome

    classical architecture

  3. music
    1. of, relating to, or denoting any music or its period of composition marked by stability of form, intellectualism, and restraint Compare romantic
    2. accepted as a standard

      the classical suite

    3. denoting serious art music in general Compare pop 1
  4. music of or relating to a style of music composed, esp at Vienna, during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. This period is marked by the establishment, esp by Haydn and Mozart, of sonata form
  5. denoting or relating to a style in any of the arts characterized by emotional restraint and conservatism See classicism

    a classical style of painting

  6. well versed in the art and literature of ancient Greece and Rome
  7. (of an education) based on the humanities and the study of Latin and Greek
  8. physics
    1. not involving the quantum theory or the theory of relativity

      classical mechanics

    2. obeying the laws of Newtonian mechanics or 19th-century physics

      a classical gas

  9. another word for classic classic
  10. (of a logical or mathematical system) according with the law of excluded middle, so that every statement is known to be either true or false even if it is not known which

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Derived Forms

  • ˈclassically, adverb
  • ˌclassiˈcality, noun
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Other Words From

  • classi·cali·ty classi·cal·ness noun
  • classi·cal·ly adverb
  • anti·classi·cal adjective
  • anti·classi·cal·ly adverb
  • anti·classi·cal·ness noun
  • hyper·classi·cal adjective
  • hyper·classi·cali·ty noun
  • nonclas·si·cali·ty noun
  • pre·classi·cal adjective
  • pre·classi·cal·ly adverb
  • pro·classi·cal adjective
  • quasi-classi·cal·ly adverb
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Word History and Origins

Origin of classical1

First recorded in 1580–90; classic + -al 1
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Example Sentences

Vaccines aren’t supposed to work like that, though, at least according to classical immunology.

A quantum Internet would be based on a network of quantum computers, a buzzy class of calculating machines that offers advantages over classical computers, like the one you’re reading this article on.

From Fortune

I’m not sure we’re going to see your classical second wave, like in 1918.

Conventional computers — which physicists call classical computers to distinguish them from the quantum variety — are resistant to errors.

For classical computers, correcting errors, if they do occur, is straightforward.

Stephanie Giorgio, a classical musician, credits The Class for helping her cope with anxiety, focus, fear, and self-doubt.

For Kirke it was being paid to pretend to play the oboe that heightened her affair with classical music.

Since filming the show, however, her relationship with classical music has obviously changed.

So she was an aficionado of classical music, for soundtracks or otherwise?

And it goes beyond getting my teeth drilled at the dentist office—my dentist really likes classical music.

This was a vast building of classical design, resembling a Grecian temple.

Hence the danger—ever to be avoided—of using classical allusions in teaching the average student.

The place he put it in was—er—a little below golf and a little above classical concerts.

Besides his work for Zarembas classes, Tchaikovsky devoted many hours to the study of the classical composers.

The General Assembly encouraged the establishment of classical schools and academies via revenue secured from lotteries.


Related Words




classicclassical antiquity