English

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Etymology

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Borrowed from Portuguese or Spanish casta (lineage, breed, race), of uncertain origin. The OED derives it from Portuguese casto (chaste), from Latin castus. Coromines (1987) argues instead for a hypothetical Gothic form *𐌺𐌰𐍃𐍄𐍃 (*kasts), cognate with English cast, from Proto-Germanic *kastuz, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂ǵ-es-.

Pronunciation

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Noun

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caste (plural castes)

  1. Any of the hereditary social classes and subclasses of South Asian societies or similar found historically in other cultures.
    Hyponyms: Brahmin, Kshatriya, Shudra, Vaishya, varna
    • 2017 April 6, Samira Shackle, “On the frontline with Karachi’s ambulance drivers”, in the Guardian[1]:
      Pakistan is a conservative, religious state. The Edhi Foundation is unusual in its ignoring of caste, creed, religion and sect. This strict stance has led to some criticism from religious groups.
  2. A separate and fixed order or class of persons in society who chiefly associate with each other.
  3. (zoology) A class of polymorphous eusocial insects of a particular size and function within a colony.
    In beehives, most bees belong to the worker caste.

Derived terms

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Translations

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Anagrams

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Dutch

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Verb

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caste

  1. (dated or formal) singular present subjunctive of casten

French

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Etymology

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Borrowed from Portuguese casta, if of Germanic origin, possibly from Gothic 𐌺𐌰𐍃𐍄𐍃 (kasts), from Proto-Germanic *kastuz, from Proto-Indo-European *h₂ǵ-es- (to throw), similar to English cast. Or, alternatively from a derivative of Latin castus.

Noun

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caste f (plural castes)

  1. caste (hereditary class)
  2. class (social position)

Further reading

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Galician

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Alternative forms

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Etymology

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Probably from Gothic *𐌺𐌰𐍃𐍄𐍃 (*kasts), from Proto-Germanic *kastuz, *kastōną (to throw, cast), compare English cast.[1]

Pronunciation

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Noun

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caste f (plural castes)

  1. species, race or kind
    • 1853, Juan Manuel Pintos, A Gaita Gallega, Pontevedra: Impr. de D. José e D. Primitivo Vilas, page 29:
      Por aquí nacen os ricos polo outro probes labregos. Estas son as dúas castes que hai en todo o mundo inteiro.
      Here the rich people are born, there the poor peasants; these are the two races that there are in the whole world
  2. quality
    • 1859, Ramón Barros Silvelo, Un dia de desfertuna, page 3:
      Dime logo que o probe do animal ou é de mala caste, ou ben non come
      He readily told me that the animal [that I was selling] either was of bad quality, or either it didn't eat
  3. progeny; group of people that share a common ancestor
    Synonyms: estirpe, fruxe, liñaxe
    • 1853, Juan Manuel Pintos, A Gaita Gallega, Pontevedra: Impr. de D. José e D. Primitivo Vilas, page 8:
      { soy llamado Pedro Luces ... } - To to to, vamos con tento que un home con ese nome pode ser caste do demo.
      {I am called Peter Lights...} —Wo wo wo! Let us be careful: a man with that name could de a Devil's child.

Derived terms

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References

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  1. ^ Joan Coromines, José A. Pascual (1983–1991) “casta”, in Diccionario crítico etimológico castellano e hispánico (in Spanish), Madrid: Gredos

Italian

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Adjective

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caste

  1. feminine plural of casto

Noun

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caste f

  1. plural of casta

Anagrams

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Latin

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Etymology 1

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From castus +‎ .

Pronunciation

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Adverb

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castē (comparative castius, superlative castissimē)

  1. purely, spotlessly, virtuously
  2. piously, religiously

Etymology 2

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Inflected form of castus.

Pronunciation

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Adjective

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caste

  1. vocative masculine singular of castus

References

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  • caste”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • caste”, in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
  • caste in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette.