peasant

noun
peas·​ant | \ ˈpe-zᵊnt How to pronounce peasant (audio) \

Definition of peasant

1 : a member of a European class of persons tilling the soil as small landowners or as laborers This land was farmed by peasants for centuriess. also : a member of a similar class elsewhere
2 : a usually uneducated person of low social status They treated us like a bunch of peasants.

Examples of peasant in a Sentence

They treated us like a bunch of peasants.

Recent Examples on the Web

OVER FOUR days in December 1981, soldiers from El Salvador’s army shot, stabbed and burned to death nearly 1,000 peasants from the north-eastern village of El Mozote and surrounding rural hamlets. The Economist, "El Salvador stops honouring the leader of the El Mozote massacre," 8 June 2019 Some of them are silly, some are hilarious (a peasant in jeans!), and all to be expected for such a huge production. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Turns Out That Starbucks Cup Is Just One of Many 'Game of Thrones' Continuity Errors," 9 May 2019 Away from the battlefield, both films do a decent but imperfect job dressing nobility and peasants. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "'Outlaw King' vs. 'Braveheart': Which Movie Gets Scotland Right?," 13 Nov. 2018 Over 90 percent of the population was comprised of peasants, and perhaps 5 percent of the total population was literate. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Notre Dame Is a Cruel Metaphor for Our World Right Now," 25 Apr. 2019 Another factor: While Ukrainians were primarily peasants, most Kazakhs were nomads. Sarah Cameron, WSJ, "The Forgotten Soviet Famine," 1 Nov. 2018 There’s too much plot to summarize all of it here, but in brief: Agnieszka is a peasant girl in a fantasy kingdom loosely inspired by Eastern European folklore. Vox Staff, Vox, "The most thought-provoking books the Vox staff read in 2018," 21 Dec. 2018 The parts of the country near the United States have prospered while peasants in the south still toil outdoors in the sun. The Economist, "How Andrés Manuel López Obrador will remake Mexico," 23 June 2018 Its modernization had involved uprooting the peasants, the vast majority of the population, from the countryside and turning them into an urban proletariat. Azar Gat, WSJ, "The ‘Modernizing Dictator’ Is No Myth," 13 Nov. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'peasant.' 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 peasant

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for peasant

Middle English paissaunt, from Anglo-French paisant, pesaunt, from pais, paiis country, from Late Latin pagensis inhabitant of a district, from Latin pagus district; akin to Latin pangere to fix — more at pact

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Statistics for peasant

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

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The first known use of peasant was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for peasant

peasant

noun

English Language Learners Definition of peasant

: a poor farmer or farm worker who has low social status
disapproving : a person who is not educated and has low social status

peasant

noun
peas·​ant | \ ˈpe-zᵊnt How to pronounce peasant (audio) \

Kids Definition of peasant

: a farmer or farm worker of low social class

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