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  Dictionary Definition of caste

caste
noun
1. Sociology an endogamous and hereditary social group limited to persons in a given occupation or trade, having mores distinguishing it from other such groups.
2. a. one of the artificial divisions or social classes into which the Hindus are rigidly separated and of which the privileges or disabilities are transmitted by inheritance. b. the system or basis of this division.
3. any rigid system of social distinctions.
4. the position or rank conferred by the Hindu social system or any similar system: to lose caste.
5. a group of insects which are specialised for particular functions within a larger community of such insects, such as the soldier ant, worker bee, etc.
[Sp., Pg. casta breed, race, from L castus pure, CHASTE ]