When a class is canceled you need to make it up. What is the name of that session?

Our class on Monday was canceled due to heavy snow, so the teacher set a date for the [......]

'Makeup session' maybe?! I googled it and it shows some ladies putting on eyeliner.


The secret's in the hyphenation. According to the Oxford Dictionary, make-up meaning 4 is

  1. (North American count noun) A supplementary test or assignment given to a student who missed or failed the original one. ‘I would have flunked the course but she let me write a make-up’

This tallies with my understanding, that a make-up is equivalent to the British English resit: you fail an exam and have to repeat it. It is probably not ideal for this situation, where the class was cancelled for all students due to circumstances beyond anybody's control.

A better term to use would be reschedule, which would not imply any failure on the part of the students. You can optionally specify the new date:

Our class on Monday was canceled due to heavy snow, so the teacher rescheduled it [for next Friday/ for the 16th February].

  • Interesting. But how can I refer to this as a noun phrase? Can I say something like, 'Today's my rescheduled class' or when someone asks me on Tuesday where I'm going because I've always gone to my class on Mondays, can I say, 'Oh that's a rescheduled one. Monday was off becasue of the blizzard'? – Yuri Feb 13 '18 at 10:58
  • @Yuri, yes, those would both work. – JavaLatte Feb 13 '18 at 11:06
  • 1
    Although I agree that either one of Yuri's alternatives would work, I'd be more inclined to call these makeup sessions. At least in my mind, a rescheduled class sounds more preplanned: "I will be out of town next Tuesday, so we will have a rescheduled class on Friday," whereas make-up class sounds more unplanned: "Because of yesterday's snowstorm, we'll have a makeup class on Friday." That said, your example sentence using rescheduled as a verb (instead of as a modifier) seems fine. – J.R. Feb 13 '18 at 15:04

When a full day of classes is canceled and then rescheduled, the standard term in American English is "make-up day." I can find plenty of news articles that use it. Most of them hyphenate it as make-up day, but a few use the combined makeup day. I see no reason why you couldn't use "make-up class" for a single session; that is, if you're in a context where no one would mistakenly assume that you're teaching a class about cosmetics.

A related term in common use is snow day, which is a day when classes are canceled due to snow. If you're talking with American students, they could easily use "snow day" to refer to even a single canceled class (perhaps jokingly).

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