Dengue has emerged as a major public health problem worldwide. Dengue virus infection causes a wide range of clinical manifestations. Since the 1970s, clinical dengue has been classified according to the World Health Organization guideline as dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever. The classification has been criticized with regard to its usefulness and its applicability. In 2009, the World Health Organization issued a new guideline that classifies clinical dengue as dengue and severe dengue. The 2009 classification differs significantly from the previous classification in both conceptual and practical levels. The impacts of the new classification on clinical practice, dengue research, and public health policy are discussed.