Definition of the proletariat noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


the proletariat

BrE BrE//ˌprəʊləˈteəriət//
; NAmE NAmE//ˌproʊləˈteriət//
[singular + singular or plural verb] (specialist)
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(used especially when talking about the past) the class of ordinary people who earn money by working, especially those who do not own any property the industrial proletariat Marx wrote of the class struggle between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. compare bourgeoisie Word Originmid 19th cent.: from French prolétariat, from Latin proletarius (from proles ‘offspring’), denoting a person having no wealth in property, who only served the state by producing offspring.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: the proletariat