mid·​dle-class | \ ˌmi-dᵊl-ˈklas \

Definition of middle-class

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of or relating to the middle class especially : characterized by a high material standard of living, sexual morality, and respect for property

middle class


Definition of middle class (Entry 2 of 2)

: a class occupying a position between the upper class and the lower class especially : a fluid heterogeneous socioeconomic grouping composed principally of business and professional people, bureaucrats, and some farmers and skilled workers sharing common social characteristics and values

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Other Words from middle-class


middle-classness \ -​nəs \ noun

Examples of middle-class in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Its growing middle class has seen the rise of theater chains across the country, and Chinese audiences have become an important part of US films’ successes. Andrew Liptak, The Verge, "The Wandering Earth could be China’s breakout sci-fi blockbuster film," 31 Oct. 2018 Republicans had a chance to cut taxes for the middle class last year. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Trump says there’s another tax cut on the way. We have no idea what he’s talking about.," 21 Oct. 2018 But in the midst of all that wealth creation, San Francisco’s most vulnerable residents were marginalized; its middle class vanished. Nitasha Tiku, WIRED, "How Tech Shaped San Francisco’s Unresolved Mayor’s Race," 11 June 2018 For Karam’s play is also an anatomy of our disappearing middle class. Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle, "Family is a miracle in SHN’s ‘The Humans’," 7 June 2018 This onetime factory hub on the Schuylkill between Philly and Reading has lost its manufacturing, its middle class, and, just last year, a $1 million taxpayer when its local hospital turned nonprofit. Maria Panaritis, Philly.com, "Pottstown took on the YMCA - and won. They're saving themselves along the way. | Maria Panaritis," 26 May 2018 While China has embraced Western-style consumerism, its financial sector remains a bog, unable to satisfy the banking, insurance, and retirement needs of its growing middle classes. Bloomberg.com, "China Quietly Rolled Out a Very Big Bang," 19 Apr. 2018 And don’t forget, the 1960s summit of the American middle class and shared prosperity also saw the persistent crisis of impoverished Appalachia and growing economic distress of inner cities. Jon Talton, The Seattle Times, "In America’s ‘geography of despair,’ how to help the left-behind places?," 21 Nov. 2018 Took a picture with her, but this is woman who is fearless, fighting for the EU middle class, and is fiercely intelligent. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Why Snap will get acquired before 2020, probably by Amazon," 28 Sep. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'middle-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 middle-class


1836, in the meaning defined above


1745, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of middle-class was in 1745

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More Definitions for middle-class

middle class


English Language Learners Definition of middle class

: the social class that is between the upper class and the lower class and that includes mainly business and professional people, government officials, and skilled workers

middle class


Kids Definition of middle class

: a social class between that of the wealthy and the poor

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Spanish Central: Translation of middle-class

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someone who never drinks alcohol

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