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first class

noun
1.
the best, finest, or highest class, grade, or rank.
2.
the most expensive and most luxurious class of accommodation on trains, ships, airplanes, etc.
3.
(in the U.S. Postal Service) the class of mail consisting of letters, postal cards, or the like, together with all mailable matter sealed against inspection.
4.
British University. the group receiving the highest distinction in an honors course.
Origin
1740-1750
1740-50

first-class

[furst-klas, -klahs] /ˈfɜrstˈklæs, -ˈklɑs/
adjective
1.
of the highest or best class or quality:
a first-class movie.
2.
best-equipped and most expensive:
a first-class railroad car.
3.
given or entitled to preferred treatment, handling, etc.:
first-class mail.
adverb
4.
by first-class conveyance:
to travel first-class.
Origin
1780-90
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for first-class

first class

noun
1.
the class or grade of the best or highest value, quality, etc
adjective (first-class when prenominal)
2.
of the best or highest class or grade: a first-class citizen
3.
excellent; first-rate
4.
of or denoting the most comfortable and expensive class of accommodation in a hotel, aircraft, train, etc
5.
  1. (in Britain) of or relating to mail that is processed most quickly
  2. (in the US and Canada) of or relating to mail that consists mainly of written letters, cards, etc
6.
(education) See first (sense 10)
adverb
7.
by first-class mail, means of transportation, etc
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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