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[pez-uh nt] /ˈpɛz ənt/
a member of a class of persons, as in Europe, Asia, and Latin America, who are small farmers or farm laborers of low social rank.
a coarse, unsophisticated, boorish, uneducated person of little financial means.
of, relating to, or characteristic of peasants or their traditions, way of life, crafts, etc.
of or designating a style of clothing modeled on the folk costumes of Western cultures, especially women's full-sleeved, round-necked blouses and long, full skirts.
Origin of peasant
late Middle English
1375-1425; late Middle English paissaunt < Anglo-French paisant, Old French païsant, earlier païsenc, equivalent to païs country (< Late Latin pāgēnsis, equivalent to Latin pāg(us) country district + -ēnsis -ensis) + -enc < Germanic (see -ing3)
Related forms
peasantlike, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for peasant
  • Though a peasant-farmer group plans a protest next week, the opposition is now likely to pause and try to reorganise.
  • The farmer or the peasant cannot find the goods for sale which he desires to purchase.
  • Fox was forced to abandon those plans by peasant farmers living there.
  • Most new profs live in a manner befitting a peasant.
  • The president's promises have encouraged both genuine peasant groups and opportunists to invade farms.
  • Many of the fossils have been collected and sold by peasant farmers.
  • They went from poor to rich in hal a century, and they definitely didn't do it with peasant farming.
  • Persians brought the game here a thousand years ago, and it has been favored by prince and peasant ever since.
  • Their acting is interrupted by a violent peasant uprising, which kills many of their number.
  • Samurai defending a peasant village detect a weak spot in their fortifications.
British Dictionary definitions for peasant


  1. a member of a class of low social status that depends on either cottage industry or agricultural labour as a means of subsistence
  2. (as modifier): peasant dress
(informal) a person who lives in the country; rustic
(informal) an uncouth or uncultured person
Word Origin
C15: from Anglo-French, from Old French païsant, from païs country, from Latin pāgus rural area; see pagan
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 peasant

early 15c., from Anglo-French paisant (mid-14c.), Old French paisent "local inhabitant" (12c., Modern French paysan), earlier paisenc, from pais "country, region" + Frankish suffix -enc "-ing."

Pais is from Late Latin pagensis "(inhabitant) of the district," from Latin pagus "country or rural district" (see pagan). As a style of garment in fashion (e.g. peasant blouse) from 1953.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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peasant in Culture

peasant definition

A farmer or agricultural worker of low status. The word is applied chiefly to agricultural workers in Asia, Europe, and South America, who generally adhere to traditional agricultural practices and have little social mobility or freedom.

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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