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peasant

Line breaks: peas|ant
Pronunciation: /ˈpɛz(ə)nt
 
/

Definition of peasant in English:

noun

1A poor smallholder or agricultural labourer of low social status (chiefly in historical use or with reference to subsistence farming in poorer countries): [as modifier]: peasant farmers
More example sentences
  • As a result, poor peasants might find themselves paying their dues to a wealthy peasant, and never see the lord at all.
  • They set out the next day and at evening approached a small hut from which a poor peasant emerged.
  • The victims were from a group of poor peasants who had occupied a 49-acre plot of land.
Synonyms
agricultural worker, small farmer, rustic, son of the soil, countryman, countrywoman, farmhand, swain, villein, serf;
Frenchpaysan;
Russianmuzhik, kulak;
Spanishcampesino, paisano;
Italiancontadino;
Egyptian fellah;
Indian ryot
archaic carl, cottier, kern, hind
1.1 informal An ignorant, rude, or unsophisticated person: ‘That is a civilized drink, you peasant’
Synonyms
lout, boor, oaf, clown, churl, yokel, bumpkin, country bumpkin, village idiot, provincial, barbarian;
informal clod, clodhopper, yahoo
North American informal hayseed, hick, rube, hillbilly
Australian informal ocker
Australian/New Zealand informal hoon
rare bucolic

Origin

late Middle English: from Old French paisent 'country dweller', from pais 'country', based on Latin pagus 'country district'.

More
  • pagan from (Late Middle English):

    In Latin paganus originally meant ‘of the country, rustic’, and also ‘civilian, non-military’. Around the 4th century ad, it developed the sense ‘non-Christian, heathen’. One theory is that belief in the ancient gods lingered on in the rural villages after Christianity had been generally accepted in the towns and cities of the Roman Empire; another focuses on the ‘civilian’ sense, and points out that early Christians called themselves ‘soldiers of Christ’, making non-Christians into ‘civilians’. A third view compares heathens to people outside the civilized world of towns and cities, belonging to the countryside. Curiously, it was not uncommon to find Pagan as a given name, a custom that has recently been revived. The Latin root paganus came from pagus ‘country district’, which is also the source of peasant. Heathen is similar in meaning and development, coming from a word meaning ‘inhabiting open country’ which is related to heath. Both these words are Germanic and were already in use in Old English.

Derivatives

peasantry

1
noun
Example sentences
  • Feudal lords were authorized to collect taxes from the peasantry.
  • So why should they care about the plight of the peasantry?
  • A triple blow has hit the country's rural proletariat and peasantry.

peasanty

2
adjective
Example sentences
  • It is robust, peasanty and rustic with all the feel-good, comfort qualities of home-made food, but more interesting and commendably professional than your own, all too familiar efforts.
  • A starter of bucatini (a slightly hollow spaghetti) with squid was altogether more peasanty.
  • For a quick cheat, I think this recipe has a fairly peasanty feel to it.

Words that rhyme with peasant

bezant, omnipresent, pheasant, pleasant, present

Definition of peasant in:

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