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Definitions

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

  • n. The socioeconomic class consisting of people who work for wages, especially low wages, including unskilled and semiskilled laborers and their families.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The social class of those who perform physical work for a living, as opposed to the professional or middle class, the upper class, or others.
  • adj. Relating to the working class; suggestive of the working class in manner of speaking, outlook, appearance or other qualities.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • the class of people who are engaged in manual labor, or are dependent upon it for support; laborers; operatives; -- chiefly used in the plural.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A collective name for those who earn their bread by manual labor, such as mechanics and laborers: generally used in the plural.

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

  • n. a social class comprising those who do manual labor or work for wages
  • adj. working for hourly wages rather than fixed (e.g. annual) salaries
  • adj. of those who work for wages especially manual or industrial laborers

Etymologies

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