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peon

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

Simple Definition of peon

  • : 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

Full Definition of peon

plural peons or pe·o·nes play \pā-ˈō-nēz\

  1. 1 :  any of various workers in India, Sri Lanka, or Malaysia: as a :  infantryman b :  orderly

  2. 2 [Spanish peón, from Latin pedon-, pedo] :  a member of the landless laboring class in Spanish America

  3. 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

Rhymes with peon



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