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proletarian

[proh-li-tair-ee-uh n] /ˌproʊ lɪˈtɛər i ən/
adjective
1.
pertaining or belonging to the proletariat.
2.
(in ancient Rome) belonging to the lowest or poorest class of the people.
noun
3.
a member of the proletariat.
Origin
1650-1660
1650-60; see proletary, -an
Related forms
proletarianly, adverb
proletarianness, noun
half-proletarian, adjective
nonproletarian, adjective, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for proletarians
  • The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains.
  • As a wealthy bourgeois, she had nothing in common with proletarians, certainly not a common humanity.
  • They were, to use an old-fashioned term, proletarians.
  • They are seekers after bread, proletarians, albeit not always with a proletarian consciousness.
British Dictionary definitions for proletarians

proletarian

/ˌprəʊlɪˈtɛərɪən/
adjective
1.
of, relating, or belonging to the proletariat
noun (pl) -tarians, -taries
2.
a member of the proletariat
Derived Forms
proletarianism, noun
proletarianness, noun
Word Origin
C17: from Latin prōlētārius one whose only contribution to the state was his offspring, from prōlēs offspring
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 proletarians

proletarian

1650s (n.) "member of the lowest class;" 1660s (adj.) "of the lowest class of people;" with -ian + Latin proletarius "citizen of the lowest class" (as an adjective, "relating to offspring"), in ancient Rome, propertyless people, exempted from taxes and military service, who served the state only by having children; from proles "offspring, progeny" (see prolific).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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