Definitions

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

  • noun A member of the class constituted by small farmers and tenants, sharecroppers, and laborers on the land where they form the main labor force in agriculture.
  • noun A country person; a rustic.
  • noun An uncouth, crude, or ill-bred person; a boor.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A person of inferior rank or condition living in the country or in a rural village, and usually engaged in agricultural labor; a rustic; a countryman.
  • Of or pertaining to, or characteristic of, peasants; rustic; rural: often used as an epithet of reproach.

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

  • noun A countryman; a rustic; especially, one of the lowest class of tillers of the soil in European countries.
  • adjective Rustic, rural.

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

  • noun A member of the lowly social class which 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.
  • noun A country person.
  • noun An uncouth, crude or ill-bred person.
  • noun a worker unit

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

  • noun one of a (chiefly European) class of agricultural laborers
  • noun a country person
  • noun a crude uncouth ill-bred person lacking culture or refinement

Etymologies

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

[Middle English paissaunt, from Old French paisant, from pais, country, from Late Latin pāgēnsis, inhabitant of a district, from Latin pāgus, district; see pag- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Late Middle English paissaunt, from Anglo-Norman paisant, from Middle French païsant ("païsant"), from Old French païsan ("countryman, peasant"), from païs ("country"), from Late Latin pāgēnsis ("inhabitant of a district"), from Latin pāgus ("district") + Old French -enc ("member of"), from Frankish -inc, -ing "-ing". More at -ing.

Examples

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • "Writing of the peasantry of his native village in the Abruzzo, Ignazio Silone ... wrote 'God ... is at the head of everything. He commands everything. Everybody knows that.

    Then comes Prince Torlonia, ruler of the earth.

    Then come his guards.

    Then come his guards' dogs.

    Then nothing.

    Then more nothing.

    Then come the peasants.

    That's all."

    —quoted in Jerre Mangione and Ben Morreale, La Storia: Five Centuries of the Italian American Experience (New York: HarperPerennial, 1992), 49

    December 2, 2009

  • Interesting notes about the food considered suitable for peasants can be found in comments on sausage and dairy.

    November 27, 2017