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Synonyms of proletariat in English:


  • 1 the voice of the proletariat
    the workers, working-class people, wage earners, the working classes, the common people, the lower classes, the masses, the rank and file, the third estate, the plebeians;
    the lumpen, the lumpenproletariat
    derogatory the hoi polloi, the plebs, the proles, the great unwashed, the mob, the rabble
    humorous sheeple
    [Antonyms] aristocracy
  • Reflections

    lumpen, lumpenproletariat

    I’ve seen lumpen misused so frequently (to mean 'lumpy' or 'like a lump') that now I just shrug and wonder when the word will become in full what people impose, rather than what the dictionaries insist. Originally from the German lumpenproletariat to indicate that class of ignorant, materially disadvantaged people uninterested in revolutionary advancement, it falls into a close brotherhood with other words whose look indicates that they should mean something different, if not their own complete opposites, and end up being used in exactly that wrong way, like fulsome, restive, bemused, and nonplussed.
    Joshua Ferris
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