Pronunciation: (kast, käst), [key]
a. an endogamous and hereditary social group limited to persons of the same rank, occupation, economic position, etc., and having mores distinguishing it from other such groups.
b. any rigid system of social distinctions.
2. Hinduism.any of the social divisions into which Hindu society is traditionally divided, each caste having its own privileges and limitations, transferred by inheritance from one generation to the next; jati. Cf. class. (def. 13).
3. any class or group of society sharing common cultural features: low caste; high caste.
4. social position conferred upon one by a caste system: to lose caste.
5. Entomol.one of the distinct forms among polymorphous social insects, performing a specialized function in the colony, as a queen, worker or soldier.
of, pertaining to, or characterized by caste: a caste society; a caste system; a caste structure.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.