a. Belonging to the highest rank or class.
b. Serving as the established model or standard: a classic example of colonial architecture.
c. Having lasting significance or worth; enduring.
a. Adhering or conforming to established standards and principles: a classic piece of research.
b. Of a well-known type; typical: a classic mistake.
3. Of or characteristic of the literature, art, and culture of ancient Greece and Rome; classical.
a. Formal, refined, and restrained in style.
b. Simple and harmonious; elegant: the classic cut of a suit; the classic lines of a clipper ship.
5. Having historical or literary associations: classic battlefields of the Civil War.
1. An artist, author, or work generally considered to be of the highest rank or excellence, especially one of enduring significance.
2. A work recognized as definitive in its field.
a. A literary work of ancient Greece or Rome.
b. classics The languages and literature of ancient Greece and Rome. Used with the.
c. One that is of the highest rank or class: The car was a classic of automotive design.
4. A typical or traditional example.
5. Informal A superior or unusual example of its kind: The reason he gave for being late was a classic.
6. A traditional event, especially a major sporting event that is held annually: a golf classic.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.