Definition of third estate in English:

third estate

Syllabification: third es·tate


[treated as singular or plural]
  • 1The commons.
    [the first two estates were formerly represented by the clergy, and the barons and knights; later the Lords spiritual and the Lords temporal]
    More example sentences
    • The remainder of the population belonged to the third estate, whose social and economic status varied considerably.
    • The discourse about social level that is invoked here has little to do with the old diagram of the three orders of society: aristocracy, clergy, and third estate.
    • Besides, petty judges and advocates were the only members of the third estate with wide experience of public life, and the confidence to speak out which it bred.
  • 1.1 (the Third Estate) The French bourgeoisie and working class before the French Revolution.
    [translating French le tiers état]
    More example sentences
    • On June 17, 1789, the Third Estate began the French Revolution by declaring itself a National Assembly.
    • And still, all major branches of the French government outside the Third Estate rejected these reforms.
    • The Estates General lasted only a little over a month before the leaders of the Third Estate (the bourgeoisie, artisans, and peasantry) transformed it into a National Assembly and took political power from the monarchy.

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