From Late Middle English paissaunt, from Anglo-Norman paisant, from Old French païsant, païsan (“countryman, peasant”), from païs (“country”), from Latin pāgus (“district”) + Old French -enc (“member of”), from Frankish -inc, -ing "-ing"; which was an alteration of earlier Late Latin pāgēnsis (“inhabitant of a district”). Doublet of paisano.
peasant (plural peasants)
- A member of the lowly social class that toils on the land, constituted by small farmers and tenants, sharecroppers, farmhands and other laborers on the land where they form the main labor force in agriculture and horticulture.
- 1986, Martin Kitchen, British Policy Towards the Soviet Union during the Second World War, Palgrave Macmillan, →ISBN, →OCLC, →OL, page 137:
- The Ambassador warned him of the consequences if his mission to Moscow were a failure, both to Churchill's position at home and to Russia's prospects in the war. He insisted that he should not allow himself to be offended 'by a peasant who didn't know any better'. Churchill listened in silence, then returned to the dacha leaving Clark Kerr outside.
- A country person.
- (derogatory) An uncouth, crude or ill-bred person.
- (strategy games) A worker unit.
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
peasant (not comparable)
- (attributive) Characteristic of or relating to a peasant or peasants; unsophisticated.
- peasant class
- (obsolete, derogatory) Lowly, vulgar; reprehensible; dishonest.
- c. 1599–1602 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies […] (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, scene ii], line 520:
- Oh what a Rogue and Pesant slave am I?
- "peasant" in Raymond Williams, Keywords (revised), 1983, Fontana Press, page 231.