What Does Class Act Mean?│Definition & Examples

Idioms updated on  January 10, 2024 2 min read
A class act is a person who acts with class and elegance or someone who holds prestige. “Class act” is a noun representing a person held in high regard and is mostly used in informal contexts. The term entered the lexicon in the 1970s.

In the 17th century, the word “class” was first used to refer to status and wealth levels. Since then, it has been used to represent those with good moral character (e.g., “The founder of the charity was a high-class individual).

Examples: Class act in a sentence
My neighbor in the Peace Corps is a real class act.
I knew she was a class act when she paid everyone’s tab.
Don is a class act because he is kind and respectful.

How to use “class act”

“Class act” is a noun that is used to describe someone. It is also an idiom because the literal meaning of the words “class” and “act” are different from the combined meaning of “class act.”

You use the phrase when describing someone who shows good values, morals, and respect. Oftentimes, “class act” is used when someone does a good deed, like performing a favor, donating money, or treating someone with appreciation.

The phrase “class act” is usually preceded by the indefinite article “a” or by “a” + an adjective. The plural form is “class acts.”

Examples: Class act in a sentence
Nadine volunteers as a crossing guard, and she is a true class act.
He’s a class act for helping that elderly woman with her groceries.
My parents are real class acts for letting me go on this trip.

Do you want to know more about commas, parts of speech, email, or other language topics? Check out some of our other language articles full of examples and quizzes.

US vs UK



Honor or honour



Practise or practice


Intransitive verbs

Color or colour


Simple past tense

Toward or towards


Regular verbs

Behaviour or behavior


Past progressive

Frequently asked questions about class act

What does it mean when you say “You are a class act”?

If you tell someone they are “a class act,” you are telling them they are a good person who acts in a classy, respectful manner.

What defines a class act person?

A person who is described as “a class act” is thoughtful, professional, and held in high regard.

What is a synonym for class act?

Some synonyms and near synonyms for “class act” include:

  • Exemplary
  • Distinguished
  • Respectful


Paige Pfeifer

Paige teaches QuillBot writers about grammar rules and writing conventions. She has a BA in English, which she received by reading and writing a lot of fiction. That is all she knows how to do.

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