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lumpenproletariat

[luhm-puh n-proh-li-tair-ee-uh t] /ˈlʌm pənˌproʊ lɪˈtɛər i ət/
noun, (sometimes initial capital letter) (esp. in Marxist theory)
1.
the lowest level of the proletariat comprising unskilled workers, vagrants, and criminals and characterized by a lack of class identification and solidarity.
Origin
1920-1925
1920-25; < German (Marx, 1850), equivalent to Lumpen rag or Lumpen-, combining form of Lump ragamuffin + Proletariat proletariat
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for lumpenproletariat

lumpenproletariat

/ˌlʌmpənˌprəʊlɪˈtɛərɪət/
noun
1.
(esp in Marxist theory) the amorphous urban social group below the proletariat, consisting of criminals, tramps, etc
Word Origin
German, literally: ragged proletariat
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for lumpenproletariat
n.

1897, from German Lumpenproletariat (1850), from Karl Marx, who coined it to mean "rabble, poorest of the working class," from German lump "ragamuffin" + proletariat. Secondary sense of "boorish, stupid people" led to lumpen- being taken as a suffix meaning "unenlightened."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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