What does caste mean?

Definitions for caste
kæst, kɑstcaste

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word caste.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. castenoun

    social status or position conferred by a system based on class

    "lose caste by doing work beneath one's station"

  2. castenoun

    (Hinduism) a hereditary social class among Hindus; stratified according to ritual purity

  3. castenoun

    a social class separated from others by distinctions of hereditary rank or profession or wealth

  4. castenoun

    in some social insects (such as ants) a physically distinct individual or group of individuals specialized to perform certain functions in the colony


  1. castenoun

    Any of the hereditary social classes and subclasses of South Asian societies.

    Etymology: From or casta, of uncertain origin. The OED derives it from casto, from castus.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Castenoun

    one of the hereditary classes into which the Hindoos are divided according to the laws of Brahmanism

    Etymology: [Pg. casta race, lineage, fr. L. castus pure, chaste: cf. F. caste, of same origin.]

  2. Castenoun

    a separate and fixed order or class of persons in society who chiefly hold intercourse among themselves

    Etymology: [Pg. casta race, lineage, fr. L. castus pure, chaste: cf. F. caste, of same origin.]


  1. Caste

    Caste is a form of social stratification characterized by endogamy, hereditary transmission of a style of life which often includes an occupation, ritual status in a hierarchy, and customary social interaction and exclusion based on cultural notions of purity and pollution. Its paradigmatic ethnographic example is the division of India's Hindu society into rigid social groups, with roots in India's ancient history and persisting until today. However, the economic significance of the caste system in India has been declining as a result of urbanization and affirmative action programs. A subject of much scholarship by sociologists and anthropologists, the Hindu caste system is sometimes used as an analogical basis for the study of caste-like social divisions existing outside Hinduism and India. According to UNICEF and Human Rights Watch, caste discrimination affects an estimated 250 million people worldwide.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Caste

    käst, n. a term applied chiefly to distinct classes or sections of society in India, and, in a modified sense, to social distinctions of an exclusive nature among other nations.—Lose caste, to descend in social rank. [A name given by the Portuguese to the classes of people in India; Port. casta, breed, race.—L. castus, pure, unmixed.]

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Caste

    rank in society of an exclusive nature due to birth or origin, such as prevails among the Hindus especially. Among them there are originally two great classes, the twice-born and the once-born, i. e. those who have passed through a second birth, and those who have not; of the former there are three grades, Brahmans, or the priestly caste, from the mouth of Brahma; Kshatriyas, or the soldier caste, from the hands of Brahma; and Vaisyas, or the agricultural caste, from the feet of Brahma; while the latter are of one rank and are menial to the other, called Sudras, earth-born all; notwithstanding which distinction often members of the highest class sink socially to the lowest level, and members of the lowest rise socially to the highest.

The Roycroft Dictionary

  1. caste

    A Chinese Wall that deprives you of the society of sensible people.

Anagrams for caste »

  1. sceat

  2. Stace

How to pronounce caste?

How to say caste in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of caste in Chaldean Numerology is: 7

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of caste in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of caste in a Sentence

  1. Deodatta V. Shenai-Khatkhate:

    He asked that beautiful Yogini in his lucid dream. “Can the higher caste people eat the eggs?” Yogini smiled at him, and said. “All humans are born equal. The castes were created by man, not by God. Your caste is defined by your character and what’s in your heart, not by what’s in your stomach. Eat healthy food that Science teaches, not what those ancient traditions dictate.”

  2. Dr. B. R. Ambedkar:

    Caste is not just a division of labor, it is a division of laborers.

  3. Thenmozhi Soundararajan:

    There's a real disincentive for caste-oppressed Dalit people to share their discrimination.

  4. Mickey Mehta:

    Today we live in a society of stupids. We swear by satellite navigation, but doubt the learned & the wise astrologers. We blindly trust the weather forecast, but doubt the vaastu science, when asked to turn our lives sailing mast. We constantly talk about liberation and still believe in creed and caste. Let our perspectives get maximized, wake up to deeper realities and get Mickeymized.

  5. Radhika Ganesh:

    Caste is an open sort of practice accepted in Tamil Nadu. Everyone is silent about it and the silence is tantamount to creating the violence around it.

Images & Illustrations of caste

  1. castecastecastecastecaste

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Translations for caste

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    a person or thing that takes or can take the place of another
    • A. guts
    • B. bowel
    • C. substitute
    • D. apex

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