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

:  any of various workers in India, Sri Lanka, or Malaysia: as
a :  infantryman
b :  orderly
[Spanish peón, from Latin pedon-, pedo] :  a member of the landless laboring class in Spanish America
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


Next Word in the Dictionary: peonage
Previous Word in the Dictionary: penwrite
All Words Near: peon

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up peon? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More