Main Difference – Classic vs. Classical
Though the two words classic and classical are somewhat similar in meaning, these two words cannot be used interchangeably. The main difference between classic and classical is that classic can be used as a noun and an adjective whereas classical can be only used as an adjective. The meaning of the two words also varies accordingly.
Classic – Meaning and Usage
As mentioned above, the word classic can be used as an adjective as well as a noun. As an adjective, it can mean
Having lasting significance or worth, of high quality
It’s a classic car from the 1940s.
Jane Eyre is a classic novel written by Charlotte Bronte.
It was a classic case of depression.
He is a classic example of the alpha male.
Adhering to traditional standards of elegance (This meaning is mostly used when we are referring to clothes.)
She wore a classic black dress and a strand of pearls.
The lady was wearing a classic navy blue skirt and a white blouse.
As a noun, classic refers to a work of art of recognized and established value.
Shakespeare’s works are considered to be classics.
He doesn’t like modern novels and prefers the classics such as Dickens and Dumas.
Dumas’ three musketeers is a classic.
Classics refer to a subject taught at universities and schools which involves the study of Greek and Latin literature, history and philosophy. Note that this is always written without an article and in the plural form.
He studied Classics at school.
Classical – Meaning and Usage
Classical is an adjective. Classical is used to refer to the culture of the past and art forms which belong to a long, formal tradition. The term classical especially refers to Greek or Latin literature, art or culture. For example, classical mythology refers to Greek and Latin mythology.
In addition, classical can also mean traditional or being present for a long period of time. For example, classical music refers to well-established music genres of the past. The following sentences will help you to clarify the meanings of this adjective better.
She prefers modern ballet over classical ballet.
He has been learning classical music since he was 8 years old.
He was interested in classical art and architecture.
At that time, classical literature and philosophy was a compulsory subject.
Difference Between Classic and Classical
Note that classic is the most used term when we are using these two terms in regard to literature. A classic novel refers to a novel of high quality and worth whereas a classical novel can refer to a novel written in the Greek and Latin antiquity. So you should always pay attention in choosing the most appropriate word. The difference between classic and classical can be summarized as below.
Part of Speech
Classic is a noun and an adjective.
Classical is an adjective.
Classic refers to lasting significance or worth and high quality, or a work of art of established value.
Classical refer to the culture of the past and art forms which belong to a long, formal tradition.
Greek and Latin
Classics can refer to the subject involved in the study of Ancient Greek and Latin.
Classical generally implies a connection to Greek and Latin literature, culture, philosophy, etc.