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 In the developing world, the increase in inequality will be the result of the globalization slowdown and just-in-time supply chains being shortened and rerouted, leading to higher unemployment within the global middle class. Quartz Staff, Quartz, "Ian Bremmer on why coronavirus will make the future less equal," 30 June 2020 Rather, the women that made up the suburban anti-Trump resistance were engaged—much like Tea Party activists on the opposite end of the spectrum—in what Skocpol calls an ongoing battle within the white middle class over the meaning of America. J.c. Pan, The New Republic, "The “Women’s Vote” Never Existed," 29 June 2020 Income disparity is so wide — whites nearly earn twice as much as blacks on average — that even middle class families employ domestic employees, who are largely people of color. Washington Post, "In Brazil, the death of a poor black child in the care of rich white woman brings a racial reckoning," 28 June 2020 The Khumalo family are not the wealthiest in their suburban neighborhood, and certainly not at Parkhurst College, but their middle class existence seems to be the sole attempt at balance. Norma Young, Quartz Africa, "Netflix’s “Blood and Water” features Black wealth, Cape Town mansions and invisible inequality," 27 June 2020 Despite a burgeoning Black middle class, the state of Black Atlanta remains precarious. Patrik Jonsson, The Christian Science Monitor, "Why even ‘the Atlanta way’ faces a reckoning on policing," 25 June 2020 As a result, for many (particularly middle class) young women, being busy had become a sort of warped late capitalist status symbol. Vicky Spratt, refinery29.com, "Coronavirus Support Bubbles Force Us To Face Who & What We Truly Miss," 24 June 2020 As a new lower-middle class grew, many of its members took to the skies for the first time. The Economist, "Bello Latin America’s empty skies," 4 June 2020 Its biggest single advantage: Boeing is still positioned to capture at least half of orders for commercial airplanes for decades to come, and despite today's freeze, those orders are destined to rise in lock-step with the world's middle class. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "6 reasons Boeing’s financial picture may be brighter than most assume," 20 June 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 10 Jul. 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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