short for proletarian (n.), 1887 (G.B. Shaw); popularized by George Orwell's 1949 novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four." As an adjective from 1938. Related: Proly (adj.); prolier-than-thou.
A member of the lower or working class: Chez Tom Wolfe proles, for example, wear new down coats
[1887+; fr proletarian, ''member of the working class,'' ultimately fr Latin; popularized by George Orwell's 1949 novel Nineteen Eighty-Four]