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low·​er-class ˌlō-ər-ˈklas How to pronounce lower-class (audio)
: of, relating to, or characteristic of the lower class
: being an inferior or low-ranking specimen of its kind
a lower-class theater

lower class

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: a social class occupying a position below the middle class and having the lowest status in a society

Examples of lower-class in a Sentence

Noun a member of the lower class
Recent Examples on the Web
Parasite, Triangle of Sadness and The Menu are just a few recent films that have shifted the power dynamics away from the super wealthy and into the hands of those grubby lower classes, with sometimes deadly results. Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter, 4 Sep. 2023 The rich are faring much better on absolute terms than the middle and lower class, by nature of being rich. Chloe Berger, Fortune, 8 Sep. 2023 The old money characters value family history, and those of the lower class have difficulty moving up. Isiah Magsino, Town & Country, 3 Sep. 2023 California New contract would raise average L.A. teacher salary to $106,000 and lower class size April 18, 2023 The district projects a positive ending balance for the next three budget years, although such projections involve a lot of educated guesswork. Howard Blume, Los Angeles Times, 21 June 2023 The variant version, Spider-Punk, first appeared in 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man No. 10 as an anarchist who brought the lower class together as the Spider Army to defeat President Osborn. Richard Newby, Vulture, 12 June 2023 Kim Kulish/Corbis via Getty Images Amazon will reportedly see a lower class size after hiring about 18,000 interns last year, some of whom were paid nearly $30,000 for the summer. Andrea Guzman, Fortune, 13 May 2023 My career has been about taking genres that might be considered a little lower class and trying to class them up a little bit: The Shield in the police world, Terriers in the private detective world; and Timeless in the time travel world. Lesley Goldberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 24 Mar. 2023 Researchers also noted the juxtaposition in the image of a meal often considered fit for the lower class served on fine silver dining ware, a contrast that can be compared to our own perception of pizza today. Mary Walrath-Holdridge, USA TODAY, 28 June 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use


1812, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1637, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of lower-class was in 1637

Dictionary Entries Near lower-class

lower class



Cite this Entry

“Lower-class.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lower-class. Accessed 30 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


: of, relating to, or being the social class ranking below the middle class
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