arranged or distributed in classes or according to class: We plan to review all the classified specimens in the laboratory.
of or designating the part or parts of a publication that contain advertisements or lists arranged by category: Look under “plumbers” in the classified pages of the telephone book. He found a job for a “typist” in the classified section of the newspaper.
(of information, a document, etc.)
  1. bearing the designation classified.
  2. available only to authorized persons.Compare classification(def 5).
confidential or secret: The firm's promotional budget for next year is classified information.
identified as belonging to a specific group or category, as one to which benefits or restrictions apply: Classified buildings are eligible for state-funded restoration. The bank has a list of classified customers to whom it will not make large loans.


Origin of classified

1885–90; 1940–45 for def 3; classify + -ed2
Related formsnon·clas·si·fied, adjectivesu·per·clas·si·fied, adjectivewell-clas·si·fied, adjective



verb (used with object), clas·si·fied, clas·si·fy·ing.

to arrange or organize by classes; order according to class.
to assign a classification to (information, a document, etc.).Compare classification(def 5).
to limit the availability of (information, a document, etc.) to authorized persons.

Origin of classify

1790–1800; < Latin classi(s) class + -fy
Related formsclas·si·fi·a·ble, adjectivemis·clas·si·fy, verb (used with object), mis·clas·si·fied, mis·clas·si·fy·ing.non·clas·si·fi·a·ble, adjectiveo·ver·clas·si·fy, verb (used with object), o·ver·clas·si·fied, o·ver·clas·si·fy·ing.pre·clas·si·fy, verb (used with object), pre·clas·si·fied, pre·clas·si·fy·ing.un·clas·si·fi·a·ble, adjectiveun·clas·si·fi·a·ble·ness, nounun·clas·si·fi·a·bly, adverbun·clas·si·fy·ing, adjective

Synonyms for classify Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for classified

restricted, confidential, secret, private

Examples from the Web for classified

Contemporary Examples of classified

Historical Examples of classified

  • These books are classified and so arranged as to be of immediate use.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • The little Bechers were not classified, but their connection was apparent.

  • She had irritated him then, for he had not yet classified her.

    Audrey Craven

    May Sinclair

  • To the college student life is not classified and systematized to a nicety.

    College Teaching

    Paul Klapper

  • Here they are classified, and thus made to give us a right idea of their use.


    Sarah Tyson Heston Rorer

British Dictionary definitions for classified



arranged according to some system of classification
government (of information) not available to people outside a restricted group, esp for reasons of national security
(of information) closely concealed or secret
(of advertisements in newspapers, etc) arranged according to type
British (of newspapers) containing sports results, esp football results
(of British roads) having a number in the national road system. If the number is preceded by an M the road is a motorway, if by an A it is a first-class road, and if by a B it is a secondary road


verb -fies, -fying or -fied (tr)

to arrange or order by classes; categorize
government to declare (information, documents, etc) of possible aid to an enemy and therefore not available to people outside a restricted group
Derived Formsclassifiable, adjectiveclassifier, noun

Word Origin for classify

C18: back formation from classification
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

Word Origin and History for classified

"arranged in classes," 1828, past participle adjective from classify. Meaning "secret" (of government information) is from 1941, American English. Classifieds (n.) "newspaper advertisements arranged by classes," 1913, is short for classified advertisements



1782, from French classifier, from classe (see class (n.)) + -fier (see -fy). Related: Classified; classifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper