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Meaning of “second class” in the English Dictionary

"second class" in British English

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second classadjective

(also second-class) uk   /ˌsek.ənd ˈklɑːs/  us   /ˌsek.ənd ˈklæs/
  • second class adjective (LESS EXPENSIVE)

relating to the less expensive way of travelling in a train, aircraft, etc., that most people use: a second-class seat/ticket
UK Second-class post is less expensive and sent less quickly than first-class: second-class mail/postage How much is a second-class stamp?
  • second class adjective (QUALIFICATION)

a degree from a university in the UK and some other countries that is a good degree but not the best possible

second classadverb

uk   /ˌsek.ənd ˈklɑːs/  us   /ˌsek.ənd ˈklæs/
If you travel second class in a train, aircraft, etc., you use the less expensive type of ticket that most people use: We always travel second class.
UK If you send something second class, you send it using the less expensive type of post: How much less would it cost to send it second class?

second classnoun [U]

uk   /ˌsek.ənd ˈklɑːs/  us   /ˌsek.ənd ˈklæs/
the seats on a plane or in a train that are less good and less expensive than first class: Second class is at the rear of the train.
UK a less expensive and slower type of post than first class: How much does it cost for second class?
(Definition of second class from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"second-class" in American English

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second-classadjective [not gradable]

considered to be less important or of lower quality than others: The poor are treated as second-class citizens.
(Definition of second-class from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"second-class" in Business English

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second-classadjective

(also second class) uk   us   /ˌsekəndˈklɑːs/
TRANSPORT relating to the normal level of service offered, especially on a train: She was sitting in one of the second-class compartments. second-class fares/tickets/travel
COMMUNICATIONS in the UK, relating to a less expensive service for sending mail which is slower than first-class: a second-class delivery/letter/stamp second-class post/mail
COMMUNICATIONS in the US, relating to the mail service used for sending magazines and newspapers
used to describe a degree from a UK university that is good but not of the highest possible standard: The successful candidate must have a first or second class honours degree.
considered less important or of a lower quality than something or someone else: Vocational education does not in any way mean second-class education. It is appalling that older people are treated as second-class citizens.

second-classadverb

(also second class) uk   us  
TRANSPORT using the normal level of service offered: She shops around for bargains and travels second class.
COMMUNICATIONS using the slower, less expensive service for sending mail: The parcel was sent second class.
Compare

second-classnoun [U]

(also second class) uk   us  
TRANSPORT the normal seats, service, etc., especially on a train: He was sitting in second class.
COMMUNICATIONS the slower, less expensive service for sending mail: We use second class for this type of mailing.
Compare
(Definition of second-class from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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