"having lost one's place in the social order," 1887, from French déclassé, past participle of déclasser "to cause to lose class," from de-, privative prefix (see de-) + classer "to class," from classe (n.), from Latin classis (see class (n.)). In italics in English until c. 1920; nativized form declassed is attested from 1873.
Fallen or put out of one's proper class or place or any definite and recognized position or rank in the social system: applied to persons who by misfortune or their own fault have lost social or business standing, and are not counted as part of any recognize class of society. [Century Dictionary, 1897]
1650s, member of Tungusic race of Manchuria which conquered China in 1644 and remained its ruling class until the Revolution of 1912. From a native word in the Manchu language meaning literally "pure," used as the name of the tribe descended from the Nu-chen Tartars.
one of a class of people living in eastern Tennessee of peculiar appearance and uncertain origin, probably descendants of an early mix of white and African residents with some Native blood; by 1813 (Melungin); the word itself is of uncertain origin, though it often is referred to melange.
1610s, "of or belonging to the highest class; approved as a model," from French classique (17c.), from Latin classicus "relating to the (highest) classes of the Roman people," hence, "superior," from classis (see class (n.)). Originally in English, "of the first class;" meaning "belonging to or characteristic of standard authors of Greek and Roman antiquity" is attested from 1620s.
surname, from Medieval Latin Clarencia, name of dukedom created 1362 for Lionel, third son of Edward III, so called from the town of Clare, Suffolk, whose heiress Lionel married. Used as a masc. proper name from late 19c. As a type of four-wheeled closed carriage, named for the Duke of Clarence, later William IV.
late 14c., "group of people, animals, etc.; kind or variety of person or animal," from Old French sorte "class, kind," from Latin sortem (nominative sors) "lot; fate, destiny; share, portion; rank, category; sex, class, oracular response, prophecy," from PIE root *ser- (2) "to line up."
The sense evolution in Vulgar Latin is from "what is allotted to one by fate," to "fortune, condition," to "rank, class, order." Later (mid-15c.) "group, class, or category of items; kind or variety of thing; pattern, design." Out of sorts "not in usual good condition" is attested from 1620s, with literal sense of "out of stock."
1680s, "foundation beam of a dam, railroad, house, or other structure," from mud + sill. The word entered U.S. political history in a figurative sense in a speech by James M. Hammond (1807-1864) of South Carolina, March 4, 1858, in the U.S. Senate, alluding to the necessary lowest class of society. In the speech he also took the ground that Northern white laborers were slaves in fact, if not in name. The term subsequently was embraced by Northern workers in the pre-Civil War sectional rivalry.
In all social systems there must be a class to do the menial duties, to perform the drudgery of life. This is a class requiring but a low order of intellect and but little skill. Its requisites are vigor, docility, fidelity. Such a class you must have, or you would not have that other class which leads progress, civilization, and refinement. It constitutes the very mud-sill of society and of political government; and you might as well attempt to build a house in the air as to build either the one or the other except on this mud-sill. [Hammond]