A classic is an outstanding example of a particular style; something
of lasting worth or with a timeless quality; of the first or highest
quality, class, or rank – something that exemplifies its class.
The word can be an adjective (a classic car) or a noun (a classic of
English literature). It denotes a particular quality in art,
architecture, literature, design, technology, or other cultural
artifacts. In commerce, products are named 'classic' to denote a
long-standing popular version or model, to distinguish it from a newer
Classic is used to describe many major, long-standing
sporting events. Colloquially, an everyday occurrence (e.g. a joke or
mishap) may be described in some dialects of English as 'an absolute
"Classic" should not be confused with classical, which refers
specifically to certain cultural styles, especially in music and
architecture: styles generally taking inspiration from the Classical
tradition, hence classicism.
1 The Classics
2 Cultural classics
3 Science and technology
4 Consumer artifacts
6 See also
Main article: Classics
The classics are the literature of ancient Greece and Rome, known as
classical antiquity, and once the principal subject studied in the
Classics (without the definite article) can refer to the
study of philosophy, literature, history and the arts of the ancient
world, as in "reading classics at Cambridge". From that usage came the
more general concept of 'classic'.
Chinese classics occupy a similar position in Chinese culture, and
various other cultures have their own classics.
Books, films and music particularly may become a classic but a
painting would more likely be called a masterpiece. A classic is often
something old that is still popular. Some examples would be the book
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain, the 1941 film Citizen
Kane, and the song
Heartbreak Hotel by Elvis Presley. Lists of
classics are long and wide-ranging, and would vary depending on
Classic rock is a popular radio format, playing a
repertoire of old but familiar recordings.
A contemporary work may be hailed as an instant classic, but the
criteria for classic status tends to include the test of time. The
term "classic" is in fact often generalized to refer to any work of a
certain age, regardless of whether they are any good. A cult
classic may be well known but is only favored by a minority.
Science and technology
A well known and reliable procedure, such as a demonstration of
well-established scientific principle, may be described as classic:
e.g. the cartesian diver experiment.
Manufacturers frequently describe their products as classic, to
distinguish the original from a new variety, or to imply qualities in
the product – although the Ford Consul Classic, a car manufactured
1961–1963, has the "classic" tag for no apparent reason. The iPod
classic was simply called the iPod until the sixth generation, when
classic was added to the name because other designs were also
available – an example of a retronym.
Classic is the name
used for the relaunch of
Coca-Cola after the failure of the New Coke
recipe change. Similarly, the
Classic (transit bus), a transit bus
manufactured from 1982–97, succeeded an unpopular futuristic design.
A classic can be something old that remains prized or valuable (but
not an antique).
Classic cars, for example, are recognised by various
collectors' organisations such as the
Classic Car Club of America, who
regulate the qualifying attributes that constitute classic status.
Many sporting events take the name classic:
Horse races, e.g. British
Snooker tournaments e.g. the Wuxi Classic
College Basketball e.g. the Charleston Classic
Major League Baseball All-Star Game e.g. the Midsummer Classic
World Baseball Classic
National Hockey League, the Winter Classic.
Classic cycle races
In Spanish-speaking countries, the term "Clásico" refers to a match
between two football teams known as traditional rivals, e.g. El
Clásico in Spain.rr
Classical Hollywood cinema
Classic stage (of American civilisations pre-Columbus)
^ a b  Definition of classic at dictionary.com
^ "The Next Generation 1996 Lexicon A to Z". Next Generation.
No. 15. Imagine Media. March 1996.