What does S-tier mean?

Top rank

An item that is S-tier is among the best of the best in its class. This label is thought to have originated from Japan's school grading system, but it was popularized by Japanese-developed video games.

What is the origin of S-tier?

In Japan, some schools use the letter S, instead of A or A+, to denote the highest grade students can receive. (In this context, S may stand for "special" or "superb.") Other areas of Japanese culture also use this ranking system.

Many Japanese video game developers migrated this ranking system into their video games, to denote when players had achieved top-tier scores or unlocked top-tier items. For example, in Gran Turismo Sport, players who finish races quickly and cleanly can earn an S Driver Rating and Sportsmanship Rating.

How is S-tier used online?

Gamers have since begun using S-tier to describe not only in-game scores, characters, and items, but also IRL rankings. For example, you may see "tier lists" distributed on social media, which rank movies, TV shows, automobiles, or other items within tiers labeled from S to F. On these tier lists, the S tier always contains the best items.


My dog is absolutely S-tier among dogs, no contest
Everyone thinks that about their dog, Ramón
A Twitter user discussing an S-tier Netflix series
A Twitter user discussing an S-tier Netflix series

Related Slang


Updated December 17, 2021

S-tier definition by Slang.net

This page explains what the slang term "S-tier" means. The definition, example, and related terms listed above have been written and compiled by the Slang.net team.

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