Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The social class constituted by peasants.
  • n. The condition, rank, or conduct of a peasant.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Impoverished rural farm workers, either as serfs, small freeholders or hired hands.
  • n. Ignorant people of the lowest social status; bumpkins, rustics.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Peasants, collectively; the body of rustics.
  • n. Rusticity; coarseness.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Peasants collectively; a body of peasants.
  • n. Rusticity; coarseness.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the class of peasants

Etymologies

From peasant +‎ -ry, from Middle English paissaunt. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Of course, I described it as the petition of the nobility, clergy, gentry, yeomanry, and peasantry of the county of ----; and, could you believe it, they struck out _peasantry_ as

    Coningsby

  • The regent's arrival soon spread throughout the province, and the hall of the castle was speedily crowded with chieftains, come to pay their respects to their benefactor; while an army of grateful peasantry from the hills filled the suburbs of the town, begging for one glance only of their beloved lord.

    The Scottish Chiefs

  • The lot of women among the tribes, and among the peasantry, is not, from all I hear, an unhappy one.

    Glimpses of Life and Manners in Persia

  • Was it Mao who said the peasantry is the sea in which revolutionaries swim?

    Making Light: Intelligence in, intelligence out

  • Only after the post-war GI Bill-higher education advancement by the peasantry was the Counsel free to justify society's ACTUAL breakdown into godlessness and the current state of society today.

    Espresso for All My Friends!

  • The peasantry are a handsome intelligent race; and there was a gladsome sunny heaven spread over us, that rendered home and every scene we visited cheerful and bright.

    The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley

  • Below the peasantry was a slave class, some state-owned and some in private hands.

    b. Political, Social, and Cultural Patterns

  • This means that it must be understood clearly that the revolution which represents the basic interests of the workers 'class and the peasantry is a process, and that in this process it is necessary to try to win over the largest possible number of the elements in the middle population sectors.

    8TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE EVENTS OF 26 JULY

  • When he wished to express his affection in the vivacious and significant manner ordinarily employed among the peasantry, that is to say, by vigorous embracing and resounding kisses, he met with unexpected resistance.

    The French Immortals Series — Complete

  • In this village are three priests, (Greek orthodox,) idle, ignorant, and coarse men; but the peasantry are a bold set of fellows, speaking and acting very independently of clerical domination, -- very indifferent as to whether they shall turn Protestants or Papists.

    Byeways in Palestine

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  • PROFESSOR
    Better get under cover, Sylvester --
    there's a storm blowing up -- a whopper, to
    speak in the vernacular of the peasantry.
    Poor little kid -- I hope she gets home all
    right.

    June 11, 2010

  • One of the few words in English where the suffix -ry indicates a class or group of people (some others are Jewry, citizenry, and Freemasonry).

    December 15, 2008