from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The middle class.
  • noun In Marxist theory, the social group opposed to the proletariat in the class struggle.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun Properly, the French middle classes, but often applied to the middle classes of any country, especially those depending on trade.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The French middle class, particularly such as are concerned in, or dependent on, trade.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun a class of citizens who were wealthier members of the Third Estate
  • noun Marxism The capitalist class.

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

  • noun the social class between the lower and upper classes


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

[French, from bourgeois, bourgeois; see bourgeois.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Borrowing from French bourgeoisie, from bourgeois ("a class of citizens who were wealthier members of the Third Estate"), from bourgeois, “burghers”, i.e., inhabitants of towns.


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  • LAMB: I have what you call bourgeoisie values written down, so everybody knows what we're talking about: "thrift, diligence, sobriety, fidelity, procedure and orderliness."

    Dead Right 1994

  • Firstly and chiefly, he hates what he calls the bourgeoisie -- he is obliged to use the French word, because his native language does not contain an equivalent term -- and especially capitalists of all sorts and dimensions.

    Russia Donald Mackenzie Wallace 1880

  • Difference between him — and the bourgeoisie is that he robs without illusion.

    Chapter 36 2010

  • If, as Marx put it, the modern bourgeoisie is itself the product of a long course of development

    The Melancholic Gift: Freedom in Nineteenth-Century Philosophy and Fiction 2008

  • Breach is "a triumph in bourgeoisie beige, so like life in the District that you'll want to run, shrieking from the theater, out of pure boredom."

    GreenCine Daily: Bright Lights. 56. 2007

  • What Marx called the bourgeoisie was the people who owned the businesses, not the vague, inclusive category that is today called "the middle class." by

    Really, Chuck? Bend Over, AGAIN? 2008

  • Now, what I was saying here was that our program was not entirely socialist, it was a bourgeois program -- a more progressive program -- though I should not use the expression bourgeoisie because it would not be an exact concept; it was an advanced social program, the best we could organize.


  • Difference between him - and the bourgeoisie is that he robs without illusion.

    Chapter 36 1908

  • In the hierarchy of colours green is the "bourgeoisie" - self-satisfied, immovable, narrow.

    Concerning the Spiritual in Art Wassily Kandinsky 1905

  • Had there been in Russia a regularly constituted assembly possessing adequate power and representing the nation as a whole, including the "bourgeoisie" -- who also "are God's creatures" -- as well as workmen, instead of irregular bodies appealing to the greed and hatred of a class, most of the misery through which Russia is passing might have been prevented, and the prospects of early restoration would have been assured.

    Rebuilding Britain A Survey Of Problems Of Reconstruction After The World War Alfred Hopkinson 1895


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  • (adj: m: bourgeois, f: bourgeoise)

    July 22, 2008

  • Listen Dear, I've been watching you lately

    If I said all these things you would hate me

    Le pastie de la bourgeoisie

    At the church bazaar

    I nearly went too far.

    (Le pastie de la bourgeoisie, by Belle and Sebastian)

    August 6, 2008

  • Only the French would create a supercilious-sounding word to represent the middle class or upper middle class. I always thought that this word applied to successful, hard-working, God-fearing people with money, who went to church, knew how to use silver properly at the table, and encourgaed their kids to go to college.

    There is a French expression, BCBG, which means "bon chic bon genre," which I think captures the class above the bourgeoisie. A bourgeois person is someone with scruples and guilt to go along with the money. They care what others think of them. Query whether they are the Joneses everyone is trying to keep up with?

    August 9, 2008

  • Oh my! Oh me!

    February 10, 2009