Meaning of “class” in the English Dictionary

"class" in British English

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classnoun

uk /klɑːs/ us /klæs/

class noun (TEACHING GROUP)

A1 [ C, + sing/pl verb ] a group of students who are taught together at school, college, or university:

Which class are you in this year?
She gave the whole class extra homework for a week.
My class (= the people in my class) was/were rather noisy this morning.
[ as form of address ] Okay, class, settle down and open your books.

A1 [ C, + sing/pl verb ] a period of time in which students are taught something:

My last class ends at four o'clock.
I was told off for talking in class.
Classes have been cancelled today because of a staff meeting.
the class of 2012, 2013, etc. mainly US

More examples

  • Sophie is way ahead of the other children in her class.
  • She never paid attention in class and seemed to be in a permanent daydream.
  • I think it's important to reduce class sizes in schools.
  • We've started going to a keep-fit class at the sports centre.
  • She's signed up for evening classes at the community college.

class noun (ECONOMIC GROUP)

B2 [ C or U ] a group of people within society who have the same economic and social position:

The Labour Party has lost a lot of support among the working class.
She belongs to the rich American upper class.
We live in a middle class neighbourhood.
She comes from an upper middle class background.
He was a member of the ruling classes.
She's studying the class structure of Japan.
See also

More examples

  • The upper classes usually send their children to expensive private schools.
  • There is a widening gulf between the middle classes and the poorest sections of society.
  • The upper middle class tend to go into business or the professions, becoming, for example, lawyers, doctors, or accountants.
  • The working class usually reacts in a predictable way to government policies.
  • In those days people were expected to marry someone from their own social class.

class noun (RANK)

A2 [ C ] a group into which goods, services, or people are put according to their standard:

Whenever I travel by train, I always travel first class.
first/second class mail
When it comes to mathematics, he's in a different / class to his peers.

[ C ] in the UK, the standard that someone has reached in their university degree:

What class of degree did you get?
class A/B/C drug

in UK law, a group of illegal drugs classified according to how dangerous they are thought to be and how severe the punishment is for using or selling them, with class A the most dangerous :

He was charged with possession of a class A drug, namely heroin.
be in a class of your own

to be the best at a particular activity:

As a long-distance runner, she's in a class of her own.
be in a class by itself/of its own

to be something of such a high quality that nothing can be compared to it

be out of your class

to be much better at doing something than you:

I can't play chess with him. He's completely out of my class!

More examples

  • They always fly economy class.
  • Because of the delay, we were offered seats in first class.
  • I'd like you to send this for me first class, please.
  • Most of the girls were good at drawing, but Jenny was in a class of her own.
  • When it comes to cooking, Jane's in a different class to the rest of us.

classverb [ T ]

uk /klɑːs/ us /klæs/

classadjective

uk /klɑːs/ us /klæs/ informal

(Definition of “class” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"class" in American English

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classnoun

us /klæs/

class noun (TEACHING GROUP)

[ C ] a group of students who are taught together at school, or a short period in which a particular subject is taught:

She got in trouble for talking in class.

[ C ] The class of a particular year is the group of students who will complete their studies that year:

The class of 2003 is very large.

class noun (ECONOMIC GROUP)

[ C/U ] a group of people within a society who have the same economic and social position:

[ U ] Most of us think of ourselves as middle class.

class noun (RANK)

[ C ] the ranking of goods and services or people’s skills according to what they provide or how good they are:

Whenever I fly, I go business class.
She’s a first-class teacher.

class noun (STYLE)

[ U ] the quality of being stylish or fashionable:

She dresses with a lot of class.

class noun (BIOLOGY)

classy
adjective us /ˈklæs·i/

He drives a very classy car.

classverb [ T ]

us /klæs/

class verb [ T ] (RANK)

to rank:

I would class her with the best American violinists.

(Definition of “class” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"class" in Business English

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classnoun

uk /klɑːs/ us

[ C or U ] a group of people within society who have the same economic or social position:

As rents increased, working class families left the city in search of more affordable neighborhoods.
upper/middle/lower class

[ C ] COMMERCE a standard based on price and quality:

The planes will have reclining seats for customers in first class.
She and her husband run a luxury-class holiday accommodation business.

[ C ] COMMERCE a group into which goods and services are put based on their characteristics:

Your shipment's freight class determines the carrier's shipping charges.
a class of sth At issue is a class of mortgages that lenders call "subprime" because they do not qualify for the lowest or prime interest rate.

[ C ] a series of lessons on a particular subject:

a class in/on sth As part of a class in international relations, the conference aimed to teach students the art of negotiations.
enrol in a class And so that fall, I enrolled in an agribusiness marketing class.
take/go to/attend classes For the past two years he's been taking night classes while also working full-time as a nurse.
hold/offer/teach a class

(Definition of “class” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)