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also proletariate, "the lowest class," 1853, from French prolétariat, from Latin proletarius (see proletarian). In political economics, "indigent wage-earners," from 1856. Leninist phrase dictatorship of the proletariat attested from 1918.
In Marxism, the industrial working class, people without property.
A term often applied to industrial workers, particularly by followers of Karl Marx.