mid·​dle-class | \ ˌmi-dᵊl-ˈklas How to pronounce middle-class (audio) \

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 \ ˌmi-​dᵊl-​ˈklas-​nəs How to pronounce middle-classness (audio) \ noun

Examples of middle-class in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Postal Service has been an engine of growth for the black middle class, and is one of the last strongholds of organized labor in the country, both critical constituencies for the modern Democratic Party. Nicholas Fandos, New York Times, "A Fight Over the Future of the Mail Breaks Down Along Familiar Lines," 10 May 2020 Their histories also parallel those of nationwide restaurants, which gained steam in the late 1800s and early 1900s as an emerging middle class of educated professionals honed an appetite for eating out. Eric Velasco, al, "Where are Birmingham’s oldest restaurants?," 12 Mar. 2020 More must-read stories from Fortune: —Why China is still so susceptible to disease outbreaks —The rich own stocks, the middle class own homes. Ryan Derousseau, Fortune, "‘Miracle’ cancer treatments could be a blessing for investors too," 13 Feb. 2020 But today, for many of Greater Cincinnati’s poor and middle class, the choices are becoming starker. cincinnati.com, "From the Editor: Until you experience it, it's hard to comprehend the hidden costs of being poor," 13 June 2019 This speaks to a larger history of kitchens: Up until the 20th century, of course, the kitchen in wealthier (and, often, even middle class) households was always hidden away. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Kim Kardashian West's House Has Two Kitchens, and Apparently, It's a Trend," 11 Apr. 2019 My earlier postgrad years, in 1970s Manhattan, were a far cry from my sheltered childhood and adolescence as a member of Oakland’s black middle class. Harper's Magazine, "Letters," 30 Mar. 2020 In the classic cozy catastrophe, the catastrophe doesn’t take long and isn’t lingered over, the people who survive are always middle class, and have rarely lost anyone significant to them. Josh Wilbur, Wired, "This Is the ‘Cozy Catastrophe’ Americans Have Always Wanted," 29 Mar. 2020 But there’s increasing anecdotal evidence Netflix is beginning to capture the imagination of the continent’s growing middle class especially as exclusive TV and movie productions start come on stream. Ciku Kimeria, Quartz Africa, "Netflix’s big bet on Africa kicks off with Queen Sono and a Nollywood push," 28 Mar. 2020

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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Time Traveler for middle-class

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The first known use of middle-class was in 1745

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Cite this Entry

“Middle-class.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/middle-class. Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on middle-class

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for middle-class

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with middle-class

Spanish Central: Translation of middle-class

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