Definition of proletariat in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˌprōləˈterēət/
(also archaicproletariate)


[treated as singular or plural]
1Workers or working-class people, regarded collectively (often used with reference to Marxism): the growth of the industrial proletariat
More example sentences
  • Human history has remained the chronology of struggles between master and servant, have and have nots, between capitalists and proletariats, exploiter and exploited.
  • Is it necessary for the peasant classes of agricultural nations to become urban or rural (if such a thing is possible) proletariats before a Socialist Revolution is possible?
  • Today, strawberries are grown in all 50 states and enjoyed by people in all walks of life - presidents and proletariats alike.
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
1.1The lowest class of citizens in ancient Rome.
Example sentences
  • In a similar vein, Champlin argues that celebrations like the banquet of Tigellinus and the canal from Lake Avernus to the Tiber were intended to bring the upper-class delights of Baiae to the urban proletariate of Rome.
  • Many flocked to Rome, where they joined the proletariat of propertyless citizens dependent on handouts of free wheat by the state.


Mid 19th century: from French prolétariat, from Latin proletarius (see proletarian).

Words that rhyme with proletariat

commissariat, lumpenproletariat, salariat, secretariat, vicariate

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: pro·le·tar·i·at

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.