underclass

underclass

[uhn-der-klas, -klahs]
noun
a social stratum consisting of impoverished persons with very low social status.

Origin:
1915–20; under- + class


See collective noun.
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World English Dictionary
underclass (ˈʌndəˌklɑːs)
 
n
a class beneath the usual social scale consisting of the most disadvantaged people, such as the unemployed in inner cities

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

underclass
"subordinate social class," 1918, from under + class (n.). A loan-translation of Swed. underklass.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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