Skip to search.
World Factbook

Search Dictionary:

Houghton Mifflin

caste  audio  (kst) KEY 

  1. 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.
  2. A social class separated from others by distinctions of hereditary rank, profession, or wealth.
    1. A social system or the principle of grading society based on castes.
    2. The social position or status conferred by a system based on castes: lose caste by doing work beneath one's station.
  3. 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.

Spanish casta, race, and Portuguese casta, race, caste, both from feminine of casto, pure, from Latin castus; see kes- in Indo-European roots

Visit our partner's site
Provided by Houghton Mifflin
logoeReference -- Download this interactive reference software to your desktop computer