bourgeois

1 of 2

adjective

bour·​geois
ˈbu̇rzh-ˌwä,
 also  ˈbu̇zh-,
 or  ˈbüzh-,
or
bu̇rzh-ˈwä How to pronounce bourgeois (audio)
1
: of, relating to, or characteristic of the social middle class
2
: marked by a concern for material interests and respectability and a tendency toward mediocrity
3
: dominated by commercial and industrial interests : capitalistic
bourgeoisification noun
bourgeoisify verb

bourgeois

2 of 2

noun

bour·​geois
ˈbu̇rzh-ˌwä,
 also  ˈbu̇zh-,
 or  ˈbüzh-,
or
bu̇rzh-ˈwä How to pronounce bourgeois (audio)
plural bourgeois
ˈbu̇rzh-ˌwä(z),
 also  ˈbu̇zh-,
 or  ˈbüzh-,
or
bu̇rzh-ˈwä(z) How to pronounce bourgeois (audio)
1
a
: a middle-class person
b
2
: a person with social behavior and political views held to be influenced by private-property interest : capitalist
3
plural : bourgeoisie

Examples of bourgeois in a Sentence

Adjective Indignation about the powers that be and the bourgeois fools who did their bidding—that was all you needed … You were an intellectual. Tom Wolfe, Harper's, June 2000
Even before the 19th century was over, successive waves of collection mania had rolled across Europe and America, submerging country homes and bourgeois town houses in ferns and faux-Grecian ruins … Liesl Schillinger, New York Times Book Review, 7 Feb. 1999
Or is Sartre's existentialism to be understood as only a way station in his transit from a bourgeois intellectual to a Marxist ideologue? Walker Percy, "The State of the Novel," 1977, in Signposts in a Strange Land1991
… the United States … was the bourgeois nation par excellence, in which, it might be said, the values of trade were transmogrified into ideals of freedom. Robert Penn Warren, Democracy and Poetry, 1975
Noun For many, Nietzsche has always been a bugaboo, though some regard him as an heroic destroyer of idols, the invigorating voice of skepticism, and a revealer of those embarrassing actualities that the pieties and protestations of the bourgeois have customarily concealed. William H. Gass, Harper's, August 2005
With exceptions like Rousseau, the philosophes were elitists. They enlightened through noblesse oblige in company with noblemen, and often with a patronizing attitude toward the bourgeois as well as the common people. Robert Darnton, The Kiss of Lamourette, 1990
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
In the novel, the Captain’s medium is his message: his lyrically reproachful narration betrays his bourgeois sensibility and jaded world view. Inkoo Kang, The New Yorker, 15 Apr. 2024 Rostov’s main points of contact with his jailers are his handler Osip (Johnny Harris), who solicits private lessons in culture to better grasp his bourgeois adversaries, and Bishop (John Heffernan), a Metropol employee who senses opportunities for advancement amid social upheaval. Alison Herman, Variety, 29 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for bourgeois 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'bourgeois.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective and Noun

Middle French, from Old French burgeis townsman, from burc, borg town, from Latin burgus

First Known Use

Adjective

1761, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1604, in the meaning defined at sense 1b

Time Traveler
The first known use of bourgeois was in 1604

Dictionary Entries Near bourgeois

bourgade

bourgeois

Bourgeois

Cite this Entry

“Bourgeois.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bourgeois. Accessed 30 May. 2024.

Kids Definition

bourgeois

1 of 2 adjective
bour·​geois ˈbu̇(ə)rzh-ˌwä How to pronounce bourgeois (audio)
bu̇rzh-ˈwä
1
: of or relating to townspeople or members of the middle class
2
: marked by a concern for comfort, wealth, and what is respectable

bourgeois

2 of 2 noun
plural bourgeois
-ˌwä(z),
-ˈwä(z)
: a person of the middle class of society
Etymology

Noun

from early French bourgeois "a resident of a town," from earlier burgeis (same meaning), from burc "town," from Latin burgus "fortified place" — related to burgess

Biographical Definition

Bourgeois 1 of 2

biographical name (1)

Bour·​geois bu̇rzh-ˈwä How to pronounce Bourgeois (audio)
ˈbu̇rzh-ˌwä
Léon-Victor-Auguste 1851–1925 French statesman

Bourgeois

2 of 2

biographical name (2)

Louise 1911–2010 American (French-born) sculptor
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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