peas·​ant | \ˈpe-zᵊnt \

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

But that’s not too long to enjoy David Walker’s French Baroque sets and costumes, or the lively contribution — in roles that range from peasants and nymphs to the fairies’ attendants and Désiré’s hunting party — of the company’s sterling corps. Jeffrey Gantz,, "Boston Ballet reawakens ‘Sleeping Beauty’," 12 May 2018 His starting point was the Andersen fairy tale about a peasant girl adopted by a rich old woman whose gift of a pair of red shoes contributes to the girl’s vanity. Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle, "Diablo Ballet, Robert Dekkers to present new version of ‘Red Shoes’," 25 Apr. 2018 The local gentry would marshal the peasants, laborers and tribesmen into polls that would choose each Parliament. Reuel Marc Gerecht And, WSJ, "Don’t Fear Regime Change in Iran," 11 June 2018 There are no homey peasant bonfires in Cybernetic Grandma (1962), an exercise in cold, white, geometrical vistas that anticipate the chilly 2001: A Space Odyssey. J.r. Jones, Chicago Reader, "Animator Jiří Trnka created magical worlds amid stifling communist censorship," 31 May 2018 Cheo arose in the northern part of Vietnam in the Red River Delta as part of the Viet Kinh (peasant) tradition. Antonia Neubauer, Town & Country, "How to Plan a Trip to Asia," 5 Oct. 2016 The colors are almost exclusively shades of white and nude, and the designs are really minimal (think basic tees with an interesting collar, peasant tops, and white eyelit shorts). Amanda Hearst, Marie Claire, "H&M Goes Eco a Second Time," 9 Feb. 2011 But the period instead was tainted by army killings of peasants, demonstrators and opposition leaders. Jacqueline Charles, miamiherald, "Henri Namphy, one-time coup leader and Haiti president, dies in Dominican Republic," 27 June 2018 Over the history of our species most of us lived much like a peasant in India or Bangladesh does today. Michael Hicks, Indianapolis Star, "Hicks: We've got it good, and we don't even know it," 24 June 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

18 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for peasant

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

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More Definitions for peasant



English Language Learners Definition of peasant

: a poor farmer or farm worker who has low social status

: a person who is not educated and has low social status


peas·​ant | \ˈpe-zᵊnt \

Kids Definition of peasant

: a farmer or farm worker of low social class

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Comments on peasant

What made you want to look up peasant? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


playful or foolish behavior

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