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 The Romanovs has ruled Russia with a bloody iron first for more than 300 years, while living in opulence the peasants of the land could hardly dream of. Laura Demarco, cleveland, "‘Anastasia’ the Broadway musical soars at Playhouse Square in romantic, sumptuous production (review)," 6 Feb. 2020 Buscemi is a peasant who isn’t concerned with upward mobility, despite having an unpleasant, dirty job, while his coworker Alexandra (Viswanathan) has higher aspirations. Alicia Kortendick, oregonlive, "Miracle Workers, season 2 premiere | How to watch, live stream, TV channel, time," 28 Jan. 2020 This privilege had previously only been afforded to the nobility due to its relative painlessness (in comparison, before the Revolution, peasants found guilty of crimes were hanged). Kim Kelly, Teen Vogue, "How the French Revolution Is Inspiring Today’s Online Anti-capitalists," 26 Nov. 2019 This peasant jewelry from Normandy, with colorless jewels set in gold or silver, became the vogue for style. Brenda Yenke, cleveland, "Carrying MLK’s dream into the future: Yenke Peddler antiques," 16 Jan. 2020 The people who originate the memes, like peasants who grow poppies or coca, aren’t painted as blameless, exactly, but their behavior is understood to reflect incentives that have been engineered by others. Gideon Lewis-kraus, Wired, "Bad Algorithms Didn't Break Democracy," 15 Jan. 2020 In photos snapped of their outing, Del Rey wore denim shorts and a peasant top, while Larkin again sported jeans and a tee. Ashley Boucher,, "Instagram Official! Lana Del Rey Posts Photo with Boyfriend Sean 'Sticks' Larkin of Live PD," 16 Dec. 2019 And, in January, a coalition of peasant farmers evicted to make way for the Caracol Industrial Park won a historic settlement against the International Development Bank. Vincent Joos, The Conversation, "Gas shortages paralyze Haiti, triggering protests against failing economy and dysfunctional politics," 23 Sep. 2019 In addition, a good panettone takes two to three days to make (a couple of lengthy risings explain that), whereas a loaf of simple peasant bread is merely that day’s work. Bill St. John, The Denver Post, "Get Cooking: How to make panettone bread pudding," 24 Dec. 2019

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

22 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Peasant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce peasant (audio)

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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