Definition of proletariat in English:

proletariat

Syllabification: pro·le·tar·i·at
Pronunciation: /ˌprōliˈte(ə)rēət
 
/
(also • archaic proletariate)

noun

[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.
    Synonyms
    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.
    More 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.

Origin

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

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