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[mid-l-klas, -klahs] /ˈmɪd lˈklæs, -ˈklɑs/
of, relating to, or characteristic of the middle class; bourgeois:
middle-class taste; middle-class morality.
Origin of middle-class
Related forms
middle-classness, noun

middle class

a class of people intermediate between the classes of higher and lower social rank or standing; the social, economic, cultural class, having approximately average status, income, education, tastes, and the like.
the class traditionally intermediate between the aristocratic class and the laboring class.
an intermediate class.
1760-70 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for middle-class
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The English journals, which are nothing but middle-class shops, took the side of their patrons.

  • The Dunces were middle-class and Whiggish, their spirit capitalist.

    Two Poems Against Pope Leonard Welsted
  • He jeers at the one as hypocrisy and superstition and at the other as mere "middle-class respectability."

    Preaching and Paganism Albert Parker Fitch
  • Certainly they never seem at home in a middle-class society.

    Two Poems Against Pope Leonard Welsted
  • The process was too swift for accurate judgment, but he received a faint impression of middle-class men.

    The Financier Theodore Dreiser
British Dictionary definitions for middle-class

middle class

Also called bourgeoisie. a social stratum that is not clearly defined but is positioned between the lower and upper classes. It consists of businessmen, professional people, etc, along with their families, and is marked by bourgeois values Compare lower class, upper class, working class
of, relating to, or characteristic of the middle class
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
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Word Origin and History for middle-class

middle class


1766; as an adjective, "characteristic of the middle class" (depreciative) it dates from 1893.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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middle-class in Culture

middle class definition

A social and economic class composed of those more prosperous than the poor, or lower class, and less wealthy than the upper class. Middle class is sometimes loosely used to refer to the bourgeoisie. In the United States and other industrial countries, the term is often applied to white-collar, as opposed to blue-collar, workers.

Note: Values commonly associated with the middle class include a desire for social respectability and material wealth and an emphasis on the family and education.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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