• IPA: /ˈklæsɪkl̩/


  1. Of or relating to the first class or rank, especially in literature or art.
  2. Of or pertaining to established principles in a discipline.
    • 1992, Rudolf M[athias] Schuster, The Hepaticae and Anthocerotae of North America: East of the Hundredth Meridian, volume V, New York, N.Y.: Columbia University Press, →ISBN, page vii:
      Herbarium material does not, indeed, allow one to extrapolate safely: what you see is what you get; what you get is classical alpha-taxonomy which is, very largely and for sound reasons, in disrepute today.
  3. (music) Describing European music and musicians of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
  4. (informal, music) Describing art music (rather than pop, jazz, blues, etc), especially when played using instruments of the orchestra.
  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. Conforming to the best authority in literature and art; chaste; pure; refined
    classical dance.
    • 1848, Thomas Babington Macaulay, The History of England from the Accession of James the Second, volume 1, page 151.
      Classical, provincial, and national synods.
  7. (physics) Pertaining to models of physical laws that do not take quantum or relativistic effects into account; Newtonian or Maxwellian.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Noun

classical (plural classicals)

  1. One that is classical in some way; for example, a classical economist.
    • 2002, James E Hartley, James E. Hartley, The Representative Agent in Macroeconomics, Routledge (ISBN 9781134756803), page 120:
      Similarly, the new classicals never claimed to be Austrians, nor did they ever make the attempt to meet Austrian objections. Therefore, we cannot fault them for not using this methodology. Nevertheless, new classicals constantly preach […]

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