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Last modified: Wednesday, March 05, 2003 

(1) In object-oriented programming, a category of objects. For example, there might be a class called shape that contains objects which are circles, rectangles, and triangles. The class defines all the common properties of the different objects that belong to it.

(2) In .NET languages, classes are templates used for defining new types. Classes describe both the properties and behaviors of objects. Properties contain the data that are exposed by the class. Behaviors are the functionality of the object, and are defined by the public methods (also called member functions) and events of the class. Collectively, the public properties and methods of a class are known as the object interface. Classes themselves are not objects, but instead they are used to instantiate (i.e., create) objects in memory.

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