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Meaning of “first class” in the English Dictionary

"first class" in British English

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first classadjective

(also first-class) uk   /ˌfɜːst ˈklɑːs/  us   /ˌfɝːst ˈklæs/
  • first class adjective (QUALIFICATION)

used to refer to the ​bestpossible undergraduateuniversitydegree you can get in the UK and some other ​countries
  • first class adjective (MOST EXPENSIVE)

relating to the most ​expensive and ​highestqualityservice on a ​plane or ​train, or in a ​hotel: a first-class ​ticket first-class ​accommodation/​travel
relating to the ​service for ​sendingpost that ​people usually use: first-class ​mail/​postage How much is a first-class ​stamp?

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first classadverb

uk   /ˌfɜːst ˈklɑːs/  us   /ˌfɝːst ˈklæs/
If you ​travel first class in a ​train, ​aircraft, etc., you use the ​best and most ​expensivetype of ​service: She always ​travels first class.
UK If you ​send something first class, you ​send it by the ​usualpostservice: How much more would it ​cost to ​send it first class?

first classnoun [U]

uk   /ˌfɜːst ˈklɑːs/  us   /ˌfɝːst ˈklæs/
the ​best and most ​expensiveseats on a ​plane or in a ​train: Because of the ​delay, we were ​offeredseats in first class.
UK the ​postservice that most ​people use for ​sendingletters, etc.: First class ​costs more, but it will ​arrivetomorrow.

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

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

"first class" in American English

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first classnoun [U]

 /ˈfɜrst ˈklæs/
the ​bestgroup or class, esp. the most ​expensiveseats on a ​plane or a ​train: I ​upgraded my ​planeticket to first class from ​tourist class.

first-classadjective

 /ˈfɜrstˈklæs/
  • first-class adjective (QUALITY)

of the ​highestquality or ​standard: a first-class ​education
  • first-class adjective (MAIL)

of or having to do with the ​standard way of ​mailingletters and ​cards: The ​price of a first-class ​stamp has gone up again.
(Definition of first class from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"first class" in Business English

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first classadjective

uk   us  
of excellent ​quality: The ​work that she did on the ​project was first ​class. He really is pre-eminent in the ​field and has ​built up a first-class ​business.
TRANSPORT relating to the ​highestlevel of ​serviceoffered on a ​plane, ​train, etc.: a first-class cabin/​fare/​seat, etc.
in the UK, ​relating to the fastest ​service for ​sendingmail: It is welcome ​news that first-class ​delivery has ​improved. The ​cost of a first-class ​stamp is going up.
in the US, ​relating to the ​service used for ​sendingletters, ​cards, and ​smallpackages: He ​predicts first-class ​volume will ​decline by 20 ​percent by the ​year 2017 as fewer ​people sit down to write a ​letter. Experts expect that the U.S. Postal Service soon will ​request a ​priceincrease for first-class ​letters.
used to describe the best possible degree you can get from a university in the UK: A ​report showed that a first-class degree is ​worth, on ​average, 12% more in likely future ​earnings.

first classadverb

uk   us  
TRANSPORT using the ​highestlevel of ​serviceoffered: fly/travel first class I ​flybusinessclass; I don't ​fly first ​class.
using the fastest ​service for ​sendingmail: The ​minimumrequirement is that ​certificates must be sent first ​class to the shareholder's ​registeredaddress.

first classnoun [U]

uk   us  
the best ​seats, ​service, etc. on a ​plane, ​train, etc.: I didn't see him on the ​flight because he was in first ​class.
in the UK, the fastest ​service for ​sendingmail: Always use first ​class for ​sending these ​documents.
in the US, the ​service for ​sendingletters, ​cards and ​smallpackages
(Definition of first class from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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