low·​er-class | \ ˌlō-ər-ˈklas How to pronounce lower-class (audio) \

Definition of lower-class

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or characteristic of the lower class
2 : being an inferior or low-ranking specimen of its kind a lower-class theater

lower class


Definition of lower class (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Examples of lower-class in a Sentence

Noun a member of the lower class
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Rather than the state winning a critical mass of consent through its actions and benefits, the lower class was beaten into submission. Ryan Cooper, TheWeek, "The fight against police abuse must include economic equality," 15 June 2020 The stimulus checks were designed with the middle class in mind – not the lower class or people of color, Saadian said. Michael Braga, USA TODAY, "These Americans are entitled to stimulus checks if you can find them," 31 May 2020 Layton is a resident of the tail, which is the lowest class all the way at the back of the train. Clark Collis, EW.com, "Hamilton star Daveed Diggs has 'complicated' feelings about watching the movie version," 19 May 2020 They were used as a way to disguise people from lower classes, so everyone could join in on the parties and events. Shauna Beni, Condé Nast Traveler, "A Guide to the Wildest Carnival Celebrations Around the World," 31 Jan. 2020 The ratio is lower for younger children or infants, and some states, such as Ohio, have created lower class-size limits for children of all ages. Cassidy Alexander, USA TODAY, "Is day care safe during the coronavirus pandemic? It depends. Here are some guidelines.," 18 May 2020 The introduction of diseases by foreigner was only a contributing factor to an inherent, spiritual and physical deficiency in the Hawaiian peoples: The lower classes are a mass of corruption. Doug Herman, Smithsonian Magazine, "Shutting Down Hawai‘i: A Historical Perspective on Epidemics in the Islands," 25 Mar. 2020 Overall, fewer than half the people surveyed across the income groups think inequality—seen as the income difference between the rich and the middle and lower class—is a serious issue. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, "New study finds most Americans don’t really care about inequality," 9 Jan. 2020 Nearly everyone in the lower classes depend on the public health care system, which in Rio was already at capacity and in turmoil even before coronavirus. Anchorage Daily News, "Brazil President Bolsonaro dismisses coronavirus response for ‘a little cold’," 26 Mar. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lower-class.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of lower-class


1812, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1637, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for lower-class

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The first known use of lower-class was in 1637

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Cite this Entry

“Lower-class.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lower-class. Accessed 5 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for lower-class


How to pronounce lower class (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of lower-class

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: not fancy, wealthy, or expensive

lower class


English Language Learners Definition of lower class (Entry 2 of 2)

: a social class that is below the middle class and that has the lowest status in a society

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More from Merriam-Webster on lower-class

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for lower-class

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with lower-class

Spanish Central: Translation of lower-class

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