Caste definition

kăst
Frequency:
A social class separated from others by distinctions of hereditary rank, profession, or wealth.
noun
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Any of the hereditary, endogamous social classes or subclasses of traditional Hindu society, stratified according to Hindu ritual purity, especially the Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaisya, and Sudra castes.
noun
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Any exclusive and restrictive social or occupational class or group.
noun
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The definition of caste is a system of hierarchical social classes, or a specific social class of people.

When you are of a high social status, this is an example of your caste.

The Brahmins are an example of a caste in the Hindu culture.

noun
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Rigid class distinction based on birth, wealth, etc., operating as a social system or principle.
noun
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Any of the differentiated types of individuals in a colony of social insects.
noun
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A specialized level in a colony of social insects, such as ants, in which the members, such as workers or soldiers, carry out a specific function.
noun
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A social system or the principle of grading society based on castes.
noun
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Any of the hereditary social classes and subclasses of South Asian societies.
noun
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A separate and fixed order or class of persons in society who chiefly associate with each other.
noun
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(hereditary class of India): Brahmin, Kshatriya, Shudra, Vaishya, varna.
hyponyms
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The social position or status conferred by a system based on castes.

Lose caste by doing work beneath one's station.

noun
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A specialized group carrying out a specific function within a colony of social insects. For example, in an ant colony, members of the caste of workers forage for food outside the colony or tend eggs and larvae, while the members of the caste of soldiers, often larger with stronger jaws, are responsible for defense of the colony.
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Any of the distinct, hereditary Hindu social classes, each traditionally, but no longer officially, excluded from social dealings with the others.
noun
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lose caste
  • to lose social status or position
idiom
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
caste
Plural:
castes

Idioms and Phrasal Verbs

lose caste

Origin of caste

  • Spanish casta race and Portuguese casta race, caste both from feminine of casto pure from Latin castus kes- in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • From Portuguese or Spanish casta (“lineage, breed, race”), of uncertain origin. The OED derives it from Portuguese casto (“chaste”), from Latin castus. Coromines (1987) argues instead for a hypothetical Gothic form * (kasts), cognate with English cast, from Proto-Germanic *kastuz

    From Wiktionary