- 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)
- A social class separated from others by distinctions of hereditary rank, profession, or wealth. (noun)
- A social system or the principle of grading society based on castes. (noun)
- The social position or status conferred by a system based on castes: lose caste by doing work beneath one's station. (noun)
- 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)
American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.