from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The lowest, most degraded stratum of the proletariat. Used originally in Marxist theory to describe those members of the proletariat, especially criminals, vagrants, and the unemployed, who lacked class consciousness.
- n. The underclass of a human population.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. the lowest stratum of the proletariat
- n. a social underclass; the riffraff
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. the lowest level of the proletariat, comprising unskilled workers, the unemployed, and the dispossessed, alienated from the class with with they would normally identify and having little or no class solidarity; -- an important element in Marxist theory.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. (Marxism) the unorganized lower levels of the proletariat who are not interested in revolutionary advancement
German : Lumpen, pl. of Lump, ragamuffin (from Middle High German lumpe, rag) + Proletariat, proletariat (from French prolétariat; see proletariat).(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Borrowed from German Lumpenproletariat, which is Lumpen ("rag") + French prolétariat, from Latin proletarius, the lowest class of Roman citizen. (Wiktionary)