• 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

Related Words for subclass

position, line, place, tract, set, family, grade, rank, species, slot, estate, breed, pigeonhole, hierarchy, station, branch, feather, type, sort, description

Examples from the Web for subclass

Historical Examples of subclass

  • 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.