peon


pe·on

noun \ˈpē-ˌän, -ən also pā-ˈōn for 2, British also ˈpyün for 1\

: a person who does hard or boring work for very little money : a person who is not very important in a society or organization

: a poor farm worker especially in Latin America

plural peons or pe·o·nes \pā-ˈō-nēz\

Full Definition of PEON

1
:  any of various workers in India, Sri Lanka, or Malaysia: as
a :  infantryman
b :  orderly
2
[Spanish peón, from Latin pedon-, pedo] :  a member of the landless laboring class in Spanish America
3
plural peons
a :  a person held in compulsory servitude to a master for the working out of an indebtedness
b :  drudge, menial

Examples of PEON

  1. Those rich politicians don't care about peons like us, she complained.
  2. <the company had plenty of low-paying positions for people who were content to be peons all their lives>

Origin of PEON

Portuguese peão & French pion, from Medieval Latin pedon-, pedo foot soldier — more at pawn
First Known Use: 1609

Other Sociology Terms

bourgeois, ethos, eugenics, exurb, incommunicado, intelligentsia, megalopolis, metrosexual, mores, subculture

Rhymes with PEON

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