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See also: clàssic


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Alternative forms[edit]


From French classique, from Latin classicus (relating to the classes of Roman citizenry, especially the highest), from classis. By surface analysis, class +‎ -ic.


  • IPA(key): /ˈklæs.ɪk/
    • (file)
  • Rhymes: -æsɪk


classic (comparative more classic, superlative most classic)

  1. Of or relating to the first class or rank, especially in literature or art.
    • 1661, John Fell, The Life of the most learned, reverend and pious Dr. H. Hammond[1]:
      During the whole time of his abode in the university he generally spent thirteen hours of the day in study; by which assiduity besides an exact dispatch of the whole course of philosophy, he read over in a manner all classic authors that are extant []
    • 1809, Lord Byron, English Bards, and Scotch Reviewers:
      Give, as thy last memorial to the age, / One classic drama, and reform the stage.
  2. Exemplary of a particular style; defining a class/category; typical.
    He has a classic case of narcissism.
  3. Exhibiting timeless quality and excellence.
    "To Kill a Mockingbird" is a 1960 classic book by Harper Lee.
  4. Characteristic of or from the past; old; retro; vintage.
    watching classic movies as a hobby
  5. Of or pertaining to the ancient Greeks and Romans, especially to Greek or Roman authors of the highest rank, or of the period when their best literature was produced; of or pertaining to places inhabited by the ancient Greeks and Romans, or rendered famous by their deeds.
  6. Traditional; original.
    Users who dislike the new visual layout can return to classic mode.
    • 2013 January 1, Paul Bartel, Ashli Moore, “Avian Migration: The Ultimate Red-Eye Flight”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 1, pages 47–48:
      Many of these classic methods are still used, with some modern improvements. For example, with the aid of special microphones and automated sound detection software, ornithologists recently reported […] that pine siskins (Spinus pinus) undergo an irregular, nomadic type of nocturnal migration.

Usage notes[edit]

See classical § Usage notes.


Derived terms[edit]



classic (plural classics)

  1. A perfect and/or early example of a particular style.
  2. An artistic work of lasting worth, such as a film or song; a work of enduring excellence.
    • 2001, Jeff Nathanson, Rush Hour 2[2], New Line Cinema:
      JAMES CARTER: The man's destroying a classic!
  3. The author of such a work.
  4. A major, long-standing sporting event.
    1. (horse racing) Any of the British Classic Races, five long-standing Group 1 horse races run during the traditional flat racing season.
      • 2012, Dr Joyce Kay, Professor Wray Vamplew, Encyclopedia of British Horse Racing, page 316:
        The goal of the top horses was to win a Classic (or preferably three, thus claiming the Triple Crown) or the Ascot Gold Cup, []
  5. (dated) One learned in the literature of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome; a student of classical literature.


See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]