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 centuries. 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 After independence in 1947, peasant movements led by communists had mounted fierce pressure on the Indian National Congress, the ruling political party, to redistribute land from landlords to peasants. Aniket Aga, Scientific American, "Farm Protests in India Are Writing the Green Revolution's Obituary," 24 Jan. 2021 The Latino Theater Company streams an archival performance of this large-scale pageant, normally staged at L.A.'s Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, which re-creates the Virgin Mary’s visitations with peasant Juan Diego in 16th century Mexico. Los Angeles Times, "The ultimate holiday shows list: 81 ‘Christmas Carols,’ ‘Nutcrackers’ and more," 11 Dec. 2020 Wood clogs date to the medieval period and were primarily peasant shoes, made from a cheap, readily available material that offered protection from occupational hazards associated with farming and other dangerous, physically demanding labor. Nancy Macdonell, WSJ, "How Clogs Clomped Back Into Style (Seriously)," 29 Dec. 2020 In 1531, according to Catholic teaching, a peasant named Juan Diego was visited by an apparition of the Virgin Mary. Nina Strochlic, History & Culture, "Mexico adapts its mega-pilgrimage to the Virgin Mary in a disrupted year," 22 Dec. 2020 Executions, not just of petty dealers but of prominent business executives, livestock farmers and peasant leaders. Washington Post, "A murder in Veracruz: Slain journalist’s story a portrait of a violent, corrupt era in Mexico," 6 Dec. 2020 The restaurant also offers a Feast for Five takeout meal for $25 that includes a choice of main dish, Caesar salad and two loaves of rosemary peasant bread. Audrey Eads, Dallas News, "50-plus D-FW restaurants and grocers offering holiday takeout meals," 14 Dec. 2020 The combination of desperation and dreams, plus the promise that America held for peasant farmers in Calabria, was reason enough to make the hopeful journey. San Diego Union-Tribune, "How my father pursued the American Dream," 13 Dec. 2020 The Virgen de Guadalupe is said to have appeared several times in December 1531 to an Indigenous peasant named Juan Diego, who was later canonized a Catholic saint. Los Angeles Times, "Coronavirus changes everything about Virgen de Guadalupe procession but participants’ devotion," 6 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for peasant

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

8 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Peasant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2021.

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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


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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