The caste system in India is the paradigmatic ethnographic example of caste.It has origins in ancient India, and was transformed by various ruling elites in medieval, early-modern, and modern India, especially the Mughal Empire and the British Raj. This system has been generally accepted for about 3000 years. Caste system definition, the rigid Hindu system of hereditary social distinctions based on castes. When the Spanish colonized the New World , they used the word to mean a "clan or lineage". Caste definition at Dictionary.com, a free online dictionary with pronunciation, synonyms and translation. It started as a job system but later became a social class system that depends on ones ancestry. The Caste system is a system in India that was once mainly used by Hindus. Search caste system and thousands of other words in English definition and synonym dictionary from Reverso. The caste system had been a fascination of the British since their arrival in India. Look it up now! The caste system divides Hindus into four main categories - Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and the Shudras. In the secretariat, there is a mix of those from the lower and upper castes. There are four castes in this system, and one class regarded as the "Untouchables". A caste is one of the traditional social classes into which people are divided in a Hindu society. See more. The most obvious way to do so was through the use of India's unique caste system. 2. uncountable noun Caste is the system of dividing people in a society into different social classes. It is today the basis of afirmative action programmes in India. The English word "caste" derives from the Spanish and Portuguese casta, which, according to the John Minsheu's Spanish dictionary (1569), means "race, lineage, tribe or breed". Coming from a society that was divided by class, the British attempted to equate the caste system to the class system. Many believe that the groups originated from Brahma, the Hindu God of …