proletariat

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English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From French prolétariat, from Latin proletarius (a man whose only wealth is his offspring, or whose sole service to the state is as father), from proles (offspring, posterity)

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (US) enPR: 'prōlĭʹtârēət, IPA(key): /ˌproʊlɪˈtɛəriət/

Noun[edit]

proletariat (countable and uncountable, plural proletariats)

  1. The working class or lower class.
    • 1906, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party[1], page 173:
      "Of all the classes that stand face to face with the bourgeoisie to day the proletariat alone is a really revolutionary class."
  2. The wage earners collectively, excluding salaried workers.
  3. (history) In ancient Rome, the lowest class of citizens, who had no property.

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