Today's Word of the Day means...


[proh-li-tair-ee-uh t] /ˌproʊ lɪˈtɛər i ət/
the class of wage earners, especially those who earn their living by manual labor or who are dependent for support on daily or casual employment; the working class.
(in Marxist theory) the class of workers, especially industrial wage earners, who do not possess capital or property and must sell their labor to survive.
the lowest or poorest class of people, possessing no property, especially in ancient Rome.
1850-55; < French prolétariat; see proletary, -ate3
Related forms
nonproletariat, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for proletariat
  • Meanwhile, other members of the proletariat were encouraged to occupy the homes of the wealthy.
  • Or they can clamp down, clean up, and face the double short-term risk of a stalled economy and a wrathful proletariat.
  • They could bribe the town proletariat with their leavings, but the peasants became their enemies.
  • But this led to a rise in prices that fostered discontent among the urban proletariat.
  • Technocracy was once a communist idea: with the proletariat in power, administration could be left to experts.
  • The real proletariat are suffering in both dispensations.
  • Only recently has the proletariat expected to be able to identify with their leaders.
  • The view from behind the wheel is as proletariat as it gets: no frills, no flash, no real driving engagement.
  • Asteroids have always been the proletariat of the solar system.
  • Luckily, the growth of the craft-beer industry has spurred the proletariat-friendly beer tour.
British Dictionary definitions for proletariat


all wage-earners collectively
the lower or working class
(in Marxist theory) the class of wage-earners, esp industrial workers, in a capitalist society, whose only possession of significant material value is their labour
(in ancient Rome) the lowest class of citizens, who had no property
Word Origin
C19: via French from Latin prōlētāriusproletarian
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for proletariat
1853, from Fr. prolétariat, from L. proletarius (see proletarian). Back formation prole is attested from 1887; popularized by George Orwell's 1949 novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
proletariat in Culture
proletariat [(proh-luh-tair-ee-uht)]

In Marxism, the industrial working class, people without property.

proletariat [(proh-luh-tair-ee-uht)]

A term often applied to industrial workers, particularly by followers of Karl Marx.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of The Day

Difficulty index for proletariat

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for proletariat

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with proletariat