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 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

In the Middle Ages, peasants often slept on the floor with the entire family — livestock included — to keep warm and safe during the night. Lizz Schumer, Good Housekeeping, "Here's How a Sleep Divorce Can Improve Your Relationship," 29 Aug. 2019 In fairy tales, peasants are often surprised to discover royalty quietly walking among them, the rulers of the realm connecting with the common folk. Danny Heitman, The Christian Science Monitor, "Henry Ford and Thomas Edison steered Americans toward a love of road trips," 28 July 2019 Fujimori mostly reined in the indiscriminate massacre of peasants. Rachel Nolan, Harper's magazine, "A Jagged Scrap of History," 24 June 2019 What’s more, peasants in southern Mexico are increasingly losing their land and being treated as criminals for defending it. Washington Post, "Adding troops at Mexico’s border with Guatemala won’t block migrants from coming to the U.S. Here’s why.," 19 June 2019 The French have a long and ambiguous link to their forests, a source of conflict during the revolution in the eighteenth century between nobles and peasants seeking firewood and land for grazing. The Economist, "Why France’s forests are getting bigger," 18 July 2019 As the battles begin, Hirut and other women must care for the wounded, but when Emperor Haile Selassie goes into exile and Ethiopia is about to lose hope, Hirut helps to disguise a gentle peasant as the emperor to keep the fight alive. Mary Ann Grossmann, Twin Cities, "‘Star Trek’s’ Kate Mulgrew to emcee this year’s Opus & Olives fundraiser," 14 July 2019 Trying to get Donald Trump on your side is like trying to become friends with the coolest kid in high school: Stick around smiling and shouting sweet nothings until the king requires a peasant to clean his sneakers. Sahil Handa, National Review, "Boris Johnson Failed to Defend Britain’s Ambassador — and British Sovereignty," 11 July 2019 Scroll down for a recap of her best (and boldest) so far this week: Celine saw the bike shorts trend and decided to one-up the rest of us peasants with a full-on Chanel unitard complete with a chain logo belt. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Celine Dion Wearing No Pants to Paris Couture Week Is Legendary," 1 July 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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Statistics for peasant

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

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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

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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Comments on peasant

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