second class

second class

noun
1.
the class of travel accommodations, as on a train, that are less costly and luxurious than first class but are more costly and luxurious than third class. Compare cabin class.
2.
(in the U.S. Postal Service) the class of mail consisting of newspapers and periodicals not sealed against postal inspection.
3.
the second of three honors degrees conferred by a British university.

Origin:
1830–40

Dictionary.com Unabridged

second-class

[sek-uhnd-klas, -klahs]
adjective
1.
of a secondary class or quality.
2.
second-rate; inferior.
adverb
3.
by second-class mail or passenger accommodations: to travel second-class.

Origin:
1830–40

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Collins
World English Dictionary
second class
 
n
1.  the class or grade next in value, quality, etc, to the first
 
adj
2.  of the class or grade next to the best in quality, etc
3.  shoddy or inferior
4.  of or denoting the class of accommodation in a hotel or on a train, etc, lower in quality and price than first class
5.  a.  (in Britain) of or relating to mail that is processed more slowly than first-class mail
 b.  (in the US and Canada) of or relating to mail that consists mainly of newspapers, etc
6.  education See second
 
adv
7.  by second-class mail, transport, etc

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

second-class
1837, from second (adj.) + class. Phrase second-class citizen is recorded from 1942.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

second class

  1. Inferior; see second best.

  2. Travel accommodations ranking below the highest or first class, as in Traveling second class on European trains is not only cheaper but gives you more contact with local people. [c. 1840]

  3. In the United States and Canada, a category of mail consisting of periodicals and newspapers. [c. 1870]

  4. second-class citizen. An individual regarded or treated as inferior to others in status or rights, an underprivileged person. For example, In many countries women still are considered second-class citizens. This term uses second class in the sense of "inferior." [c. 1940]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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