• synonyms


[suhb-klas, -klahs]
See more synonyms for subclass on Thesaurus.com
  1. a primary division of a class.
  2. a subordinate class, especially one of persons who lack the rights and privileges of the primary class: a subclass of alien workers.
  3. Biology. a category of related orders within a class.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to place in a subclass.
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Origin of subclass

First recorded in 1810–20; sub- + class
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for subclass

Historical Examples

  • Difficulty of entitling a subclass corresponding to every combination.

    The Classification of Patents

    United States Patent Office

  • This superorder is equivalent to the subclass Azygostei of Hay.

  • This subclass, like the previous one, contains only a single order, viz.

    The Vertebrate Skeleton

    Sidney H. Reynolds

  • This subclass contains some of the most remarkable of the seaweeds.

    The Sea-beach at Ebb-tide

    Augusta Foote Arnold

  • There remains the fourth subclass—Dipnoi or Dipneusti, the lungfishes.

British Dictionary definitions for subclass


  1. a principal subdivision of a class
  2. biology a taxonomic group that is a subdivision of a class
  3. maths another name for subset (def. 1)
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  1. (tr) to assign to a subclass
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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

subclass in Medicine


  1. A taxonomic category of ranking between a class and an order.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

subclass in Science


  1. A taxonomic category of related organisms ranking below a class and containing one or more orders.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.