|a gadget; dingus; thingumbob.|
|a screen or mat covered with a dark material for shielding a camera lens from excess light or glare.|
|1.||a. Brahman Kshatriya Vaisya See also Sudra any of the four major hereditary classes, namely the Brahman, Kshatriya, Vaisya, and Sudra into which Hindu society is divided|
|b. Also called: caste system the system or basis of such classes|
|c. the social position or rank conferred by this system|
|2.||any social class or system based on such distinctions as heredity, rank, wealth, profession, etc|
|3.||the position conferred by such a system|
|4.||entomol any of various types of specialized individual, such as the worker, in social insects (hive bees, ants, etc)|
|[C16: from Portuguese casta race, breed, ancestry, from casto pure, chaste, from Latin castus]|
|caste (kāst) Pronunciation Key
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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.
One of the four hereditary social divisions in Hinduism. Members of any one caste are restricted in their choice of occupation and may have only limited association with members of other castes.
Note: Caste has come to mean a group of persons set apart by economic, social, religious, legal, or political criteria, such as occupation, status, religious denomination, legal privilege, skin color, or some other physical characteristic. Members of a caste tend to associate among themselves and rarely marry outside the caste. Castes are more socially separate from each other than are social classes.
Note: During the height of segregation in the United States, African-Americans were sometimes loosely referred to as a caste.