- of a secondary class or quality.
- second-rate; inferior.
- by second-class mail or passenger accommodations: to travel second-class.
- 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.
- (in the U.S. Postal Service) the class of mail consisting of newspapers and periodicals not sealed against postal inspection.
- the second of three honors degrees conferred by a British university.
- the class or grade next in value, quality, etc, to the first
- of the class or grade next to the best in quality, etc
- shoddy or inferior
- of or denoting the class of accommodation in a hotel or on a train, etc, lower in quality and price than first class
- (in Britain) of or relating to mail that is processed more slowly than first-class mail
- (in the US and Canada) of or relating to mail that consists mainly of newspapers, etc
- education See second 1 (def. 10)
- by second-class mail, transport, etc
adj.1833, from noun phrase (1810), from second (adj.) + class (n.). Phrase second-class citizen is recorded from 1942. The Negro recognizes that he is a second-class citizen and that status is fraught with violent potentialities, particularly today when he is living up to the full responsibilities of citizenship on the field of battle. [Louis E. Martin, “To Be or Not to Be a Liberal,” in “The Crisis,” September 1942] 1Inferior; see second best. 2Travel 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] 3In the United States and Canada, a category of mail consisting of periodicals and newspapers. [c. 1870] 4second-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]