Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to classical: classical mechanics, Classical Dance


a. Of or relating to the ancient Greeks and Romans, especially their art, architecture, and literature.
b. Conforming to the artistic and literary models of ancient Greece and Rome.
c. Versed in the classics: a classical scholar.
2. Music
a. Of or relating to European music during the latter half of the 18th and the early 19th centuries.
b. Of or relating to music in the educated European tradition, such as symphony and opera, as opposed to popular or folk music.
3. Of, relating to, or being a variety of a language that is epitomized by a prestigious body of literature.
a. Standard and traditional: classical methods of navigation.
b. Relating to or being a school of thought or field of study that is established and widely accepted before others: classical economics.
5. Of or relating to physics that can be described without the use of quantum mechanics or relativity.
6. Relating to or consisting of studies in the humanities and general sciences: a classical curriculum.

clas′si·cal′i·ty (-kăl′ĭ-tē), clas′si·cal·ness n.
clas′si·cal·ly adv.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Historical Terms) of, relating to, or characteristic of the ancient Greeks and Romans or their civilization, esp in the period of their ascendancy
2. (Historical Terms) designating, following, or influenced by the art or culture of ancient Greece or Rome: classical architecture.
3. (Classical Music) music
a. of, relating to, or denoting any music or its period of composition marked by stability of form, intellectualism, and restraint. Compare romantic5
b. accepted as a standard: the classical suite.
c. denoting serious art music in general. Compare pop12
4. (Classical Music) music of or relating to a style of music composed, esp at Vienna, during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. This period is marked by the establishment, esp by Haydn and Mozart, of sonata form
5. denoting or relating to a style in any of the arts characterized by emotional restraint and conservatism: a classical style of painting. See classicism1
6. well versed in the art and literature of ancient Greece and Rome
7. (Education) (of an education) based on the humanities and the study of Latin and Greek
8. (General Physics) physics
a. not involving the quantum theory or the theory of relativity: classical mechanics.
b. obeying the laws of Newtonian mechanics or 19th-century physics: a classical gas.
9. another word for classic2, classic4
10. (Logic) (of a logical or mathematical system) according with the law of excluded middle, so that every statement is known to be either true or false even if it is not known which
11. (Mathematics) (of a logical or mathematical system) according with the law of excluded middle, so that every statement is known to be either true or false even if it is not known which
ˌclassiˈcality, ˈclassicalness n
ˈclassically adv
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈklæs ɪ kəl)

1. of, pertaining to, or characteristic of Greek and Roman antiquity: classical literature; classical languages.
2. conforming to ancient Greek and Roman models in literature or art, or to later systems modeled upon them.
3. marked by classicism: classical simplicity.
a. of, pertaining to, or being music of the European tradition marked by sophistication of structural elements and embracing opera, art song, symphonic and chamber music, and works for solo instrument.
b. of, pertaining to, characterized by, or adhering to the chiefly homophonic musical style of the latter half of the 18th and the early 19th centuries.
a. of or pertaining to the architecture of ancient Greece and Rome, characterized esp. by the employment of orders. Compare order (def. 24b).
b. of or pertaining to any style of architecture imitating the architecture of ancient Greece or Rome; neoclassic.
c. simple, reposeful, well-proportioned, or symmetrical in a manner suggesting the architecture of ancient Greece and Rome.
6. (often cap.) of or pertaining to a style of literature or art that adheres to established treatments and critical standards and that emphasizes formal simplicity, balance, and controlled emotion (contrasted with romantic).
7. pertaining to or versed in the ancient classics: a classical scholar.
8. relating to or teaching academic branches of knowledge, as distinguished from technical subjects.
9. accepted as standard and authoritative, as distinguished from novel or experimental: classical physics.
10. classical music.
clas`si•cal′i•ty, clas′si•cal•ness, n.
clas′si•cal•ly, adv.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. 'classic' used as an adjective

A classic example of something has all the features or characteristics that you expect something of its kind to have.

This statement was a classic illustration of British politeness.
It is a classic example of the principle of "less is more".

Classic is also used to describe films or books that are judged to be of very high quality.

This is one of the classic works of Hollywood cinema.
We discussed Brenan's classic analysis of Spanish history.
2. 'classic' used as a noun

A classic is a book that is well-known and thought to be of a high literary standard.

We had all the standard classics at home.

Classics is the study of the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations, especially their languages, literature, and philosophy.

She got a first class degree in Classics.
3. 'classical'

Classical music is music written by composers such as Mozart and Beethoven. Music of this kind is often complex in form, and is considered by many people to have lasting value.

I spend a lot of time reading and listening to classical music.
He is an accomplished classical pianist.

Classical is also used to refer to things connected with ancient Greek or Roman civilization.

We studied classical mythology.
Truffles have been eaten since classical times.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.classical - traditional genre of music conforming to an established form and appealing to critical interest and developed musical tasteclassical - traditional genre of music conforming to an established form and appealing to critical interest and developed musical taste
chamber music - serious music performed by a small group of musicians
opera - a drama set to music; consists of singing with orchestral accompaniment and an orchestral overture and interludes
cantata, oratorio - a musical composition for voices and orchestra based on a religious text
concerto - a composition for orchestra and a soloist
fugue - a musical form consisting of a theme repeated a fifth above or a fourth below its first statement
rondeau, rondo - a musical form that is often the last movement of a sonata
sonata - a musical composition of 3 or 4 movements of contrasting forms
music genre, musical genre, musical style, genre - an expressive style of music
Adj.1.classical - of or relating to the most highly developed stage of an earlier civilisation and its culture; "classic Cinese pottery"
beaux arts, fine arts - the study and creation of visual works of art
nonclassical - not classical
2.classical - of recognized authority or excellence; "the definitive work on Greece"; "classical methods of navigation"
standard - established or well-known or widely recognized as a model of authority or excellence; "a standard reference work"; "the classical argument between free trade and protectionism"
3.classical - of or relating to the study of the literary works of ancient Greece and Rome; " a classical scholar"
4.classical - (language) having the form used by ancient standard authors; "classical Greek
received, standard - conforming to the established language usage of educated native speakers; "standard English" (American); "received standard English is sometimes called the King's English" (British)
5.classical - of or pertaining to or characteristic of the ancient Greek and Roman cultures; "classical mythology"; "classical
classical, classic - of or relating to the most highly developed stage of an earlier civilisation and its culture; "classic Cinese pottery"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. traditional, established, conventional, long-established, time-honoured They performed dance dramas in the classical style.
2. Greek, Roman, Latin, Attic, Grecian, Hellenic, Augustan the healers of ancient Egypt and the classical world see mythology
"The great tragedy of the classical languages is to have been born twins" [Geoffrey Madan]
"That's the classical mind at work, runs fine inside but looks dingy on the surface" [Robert M. Pirsig Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance]
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


2. Characterized by enduring excellence, appeal, and importance:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
تَقْلِيديّكلاسيكي، تَقْليدي، إتِّباعيكلاسيكي، راقِ، دَرَجَه عاليَهكلاسيكي، قَديم
fornfræîa-klassískursígildur, klassískur
klasikaklasikinė kalba ir literatūraklasikinisklasikosklasiškas
cổ điển


[ˈklæsɪkəl] ADJ [ballet, style, Greece, Latin] → clásico; [musician, recording] → de música clásica
classical musicmúsica f clásica
classical scholaracadémico/a m/f especializado/a en lenguas clásicas
classical timesla época clásica
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈklæsɪkəl] adj
[music] → classique
I like classical music → J'aime la musique classique.
[civilization] → antique
in classical times → dans l'antiquité
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


adjklassisch; (= in the style of classical architecture)klassizistisch; educationhumanistisch; method, solution alsoaltbewährt; classical musicklassische Musik; the classical worlddie antike Welt; a classical scholarein Altphilologe m
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈklæsɪkl] adjclassico/a
classical scholar → studioso/a di lettere antiche
classical music → musica classica
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(ˈklӕsikəl) adjective
1. (especially of literature, art etc) of ancient Greece and Rome. classical studies.
2. (of music) having the traditional, established harmony and/or form. He prefers classical music to popular music.
3. (of literature) considered to be of the highest class.
ˈclassic adjective
1. standard or best. the classic example.
2. (of literature, art etc) of the highest quality.
3. (of dress etc) simple, elegant and traditional.
1. an established work of literature of high quality. I have read all the classics.
2. (in plural) the language and literature of Greece and Rome. He is studying classics.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


تَقْلِيديّ klasický klassisk klassisch κλασικός clásico klassinen classique klasičan classico 伝統的な 고전적인 klassiek klassisk klasyczny clássico классический klassisk ตามแบบแผนดั้งเดิม klasik cổ điển 古典的
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009
References in classic literature ?
"It is the accepted view now that real culture must be purely classical; but we see most intense disputes on each side of the question, and there is no denying that the opposite camp has strong points in its favor."
"It is classical music, and is considered the best and most puzzling ever manufactured.
The presence of Lady Wetherby acted as a temporary check on the development of the situation, but after they had been seated at their table a short time the lights of the restaurant were suddenly lowered, a coloured limelight became manifest near the roof, and classical music made itself heard from the fiddles in the orchestra.
Smith (Everyman's Library), 1911; by R.W.Browne (Bohn's Classical Library), 1848, etc.; by R.
The Classical style has well been called sculpturesque, the Romantic picturesque.
"In the meantime original work of a high order was being produced both in England and America by such writers as Bradley, Stout, Bertrand Russell, Baldwin, Urban, Montague, and others, and a new interest in foreign works, German, French and Italian, which had either become classical or were attracting public attention, had developed.
Explicit rules are laid down by some of the Roman classical writers.
Even Scoresby, the justly renowned Right whaleman, after giving us a stiff full length of the Greenland whale, and three or four delicate miniatures of narwhales and porpoises, treats us to a series of classical engravings of boat hooks, chopping knives, and grapnels; and with the microscopic diligence of a Leuwenhoeck submits to the inspection of a shivering world ninety-six fac-similes of magnified Arctic snow crystals.
He disliked the evil it suggested, and in rechristening the act Voluntary Death, i.e., the death that comes from no other hand than one's own, he was desirous of elevating it to the position it held in classical antiquity (see Aphorism
From a higher part of the road he had seen the long, classical facade of the great house with its many windows, almost immediately beneath him, but when the road ran down under the wall of the estate, topped with towering trees behind, he realized that it was half a mile round to the lodge gates, After walking for a few minutes along the lane, however, he came to a place where the wall had cracked and was in process of repair.
"I've been to that classical concert I told you about," said Leonard.
--no--classical, that's it-- it's calm and classical. No low beatings and knockings about, no jokings and squeakings like your precious Punches, but always the same, with a constantly unchanging air of coldness and gentility; and so like life, that if wax-work only spoke and walked about, you'd hardly know the difference.

Full browser ?