fourth-estate

fourth estate

noun (often initial capital letters)
1.
the journalistic profession or its members; the press.
2.
a group other than the usual powers, as the three estates of France, that wields influence in the politics of a country.

Origin:
1830–40

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
fourth estate
 
n
(sometimes capitals) See estate journalists or their profession; the press

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

fourth estate
"the press," 1837, first recorded in writings of Carlyle, though he said it was not original to him (perhaps in use from c.1823). For the other three, see estate. Earlier the term had been applied in various senses that did not stick, including "the mob" (1752).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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