class

class n Class, category, genus, species, denomination, genre are compared here only in their general, nonspecial- ized use, and the following comments may be inapplicable to such technical fields as philosophy and the sciences.
Class is a very general term for a group including all individuals with a common characteristic
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as soon as we employ a name to connote attributes, the things . . . which happen to possess those attributes are constituted ipso facto a classJ. S. Mill

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Class consistently implies division which may involve abstraction of a single group from a greater unclassified mass or the separation of a larger group into discrete subgroups; the basis of such a division may be strictly logical or a mere matter of convenience, and often it involves a value judgment
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Hickey is the first class of English memoirists— Times Lit. Sup.

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the class of nominal Christians for whom there might be a chance— Lovett

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Category may be interchangeable with class but is sometimes more precise in suggesting classification or grouping on the basis of a certain readily perceived criterion or on a predication, often an explicit one
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we cannot approach a work of art with our laws and categories. We have to comprehend the artist's own values— Ellis

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none of the writings of the fathers of the English Church belongs to the category of speculative philosophy— T. S. Eliot

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Genus and species, scientific in their suggestion, differ in that the first implies a larger less specific group, the latter a smaller more specific one
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English society, in other words, is ... a species of a larger cultural genusWat nick

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the word infringement is almost never used to describe acts of the genus, unfair competition. It is applied only to the species, namely trademark misuse— Pattishall

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Denomination usually indicates that the group under consideration has been or may be named explicitly and clearly; it is common in religious use
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Methodist, Presbyterian, and other denominations

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and use with a series of closely related units
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denominations of currency

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Genre refers to a specific, named type; its use is mainly restricted to literature and art
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some of his prose poems, a genre . . . which he invented— Sat. Rev.

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the larger literary types or genres, such as the drama or novel— Lerner & Mims

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Analogous words: division, section (see PART): classification (see corresponding verb at ASSORT): grade, rank, gradation, rating (see corresponding verbs at CLASS)
class vb Class, grade, rank, rate, graduate, gradate are synonyms in that they all involve the idea of ordering a num-ber of things according to a scale or of placing a thing in its due order.
Class usually presupposes a division of a number of things of the same nature into groups; it implies, therefore, an arranging based upon some such principle as age, advancement, quality, or convenience, and a placing of items within one of the resulting groups
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class Shakespeare among the greatest dramatists of all time

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men who are classed as low in the human scale

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"She has nothing of me that matters," rather inaccurately classing under the head of what did not matter, his children, his name, and the right to his bed and board— Rose Macaulay

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What class presupposes, grade definitely implies as a fact or a possibility: grade also carries a clearer implication of division into groups based on an ascending or descending order (as of quality, merit, advancement, or social status)
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grade the schools of the state according to certain standards for equipment and teaching

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grade oranges according to their size

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we must have instruction graded to suit the recipients— Grandgent

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Rank primarily means to arrange in rows or in any serial formation; it, like class, presupposes a division, but, more specifically than class, it implies a division based upon merit, proved worth, or social standing, and a placing of any one person or type or sometimes thing in its proper place or in order of precedence
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the artisan, for example, ranks . . . lower than the professional man; but no one maintains that he is . . . incapable by nature ... of the characteristic excellence of man— Dickinson

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the coast road from Egypt to Syria has some claim to rank as the most famous of all the roads of history— Buchan

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he cannot rank Leonardo as an artist higher than Botticelli— Ellis

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Rate (see also ESTIMATE, DESERVE) suggests a determination of the class, or grade, or rank and is used especially of ships and of seamen or ships' officers or of motors or generators with respect to units of power
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the ship is rated a heavy cruiser

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on board that ship I was rated as surgeon— Besant

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Graduate like grade implies the existence of an ascending or descending order by which something may be classified or into which it may be fitted; the term, however, stresses rather the existence of differences than an actual division into classes
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the hierarchy of officialdom graduated like a vast family— Owen & Eleanor Lattimore

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the Alhambra possesses retreats graduated to the heat of the weather— Irving

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Specialists whose interest in branches of the law was nicely graduatedRadin

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Gradate carries further the trend of graduate and implies a changing or passing usually by imperceptible degrees in the direction of either an ascending or a descending scale. The verb is used especially of colors and is less common than the related noun gradation which is of far wider application
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retiring shades, which gradate or go off by degrees— Hogarth

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Rembrandt used large areas of delicately gradated darks and Veronese large areas of delicately gradated lights— Charles Johnson

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endless gradations in the balance between the denotation of words and their connotation— Lowes

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through every gradation of increasing tenderness— Austen

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Analogous words: divide, *separate, part: assign, *allot: *distribute

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:
(of persons) / (as of pupils pursuing the same studies) / (of animate or inanimate objects, including orders, genera, and species), / , , , , , , , , , , ,


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