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


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • And I don't want you to go thinking that we can expose and repudiate the revisionist and eclecticist historico-ideologues of the ruling classes just by arranging strikes and forming into unions, because the trade-unionist politics of the working class is nothing more than precisely a petit-bourgeois politics of the working class.

    Captain Corelli's Mandolin

  • I think some of the past neglect of London in the universities is due to (1) his sitting between key period breaks in the artificial dividing up of the American Lit curriculum, (2) his socialism, working class bluntness, and anti-scholar attitudes; (3) failure of literature professors to read him in more depth and recognize his versatility and importance beyond Call of the Wild and the Yukon stories.

    Interview With Historian and Writer Clarice Stasz

  • Here there were two views in opposition to each other; one side acknowledged the newts as a new working class and strove to have all social legislation extended to them, regulating length of working day, paid holidays, insurance for invalidity and old age and so on; the other view, in contrast, declared that the newts were a growing danger as competition for human manpower and working newts were anti-social and should simply be banned.

    The War with the Newts

  • ‘You forget, the MacLeod roots are staunchly working class — I’m the renegade in a bunch of social reformers.

    Mistress For A Weekend

  • In the almost lottery-like scramble for the ownership of vast unowned natural resources, and in the exploitation of which there was little or no competition of capital, (the capital itself rising out of the exploitation), the capable, intelligent member of the working class found a field in which to use his brains to his own advancement.


  • In France, one-eighth of the whole working class is unionized.


  • By screwing the demands higher and higher, they made their possible fulfillment seem so trivial and unimportant that they were able at all timesto tell the masses that they were dealing with nothing but a diabolical attempt to weaken, if possible in fact to paralyze, the offensive power of the working class in the cheapest way, by such a ridiculous satisfaction of the most elementary rights.

    Mein Kampf

  • This man, William Sherbourne, was a gross and stolid creature, a heavy-jawed man of the working class who had become a successful building-contractor in a small way.


  • If wages were high, the number of workpeople would multiply; if wages fell, the numbers of the working class would decrease.

    The Worldly Philosophers

  • Impressed by John Edwards's appearance at a labor rally for workers at UC Berkeley, my son decided to cast his first vote, in the 2008 primary, for this candidate, who represents to my son the ideas he considers to be at the core of differences between the Democratic and Republican Parties: a commitment to the working class and improving the lives of the poor and disenfranchised.

    Mothering in Real Time


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