proletarian

noun

pro·​le·​tar·​i·​an ˌprō-lə-ˈter-ē-ən How to pronounce proletarian (audio)
: a member of the proletariat
proletarian adjective

Examples of proletarian in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Later in the novel, Hans’s mind turns to the brutality of occupation: If in the course of a five-day plan, 200,000 Berliners were removed by 50,000, these 50,000 proletarians would be fused into a collective by the shock of having killed. Rumaan Alam, The New Republic, 21 June 2023 As a proudly class-conscious proletarian, Martin is naturally supportive of worker strikes. J. Hoberman, The New York Review of Books, 22 Oct. 2020 Yet modern liberalism fits the modern world of high human capital better than the old rightish model of dim-witted peasants properly led by the aristocracy or the old leftish model of gormless proletarians properly led by The Party. The Economist, 8 Jan. 2020 Owing to the extensive use of machinery and to division of labour, the work of the proletarians has lost all individual character, and, consequently, all charm for the workman. Tristram Hunt, WSJ, 25 Jan. 2019 The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. Erik Kirschbaum, latimes.com, 3 May 2018 Unlike the proletarians whom Karl Marx exhorted to shed their chains, most people have rather a lot to lose. Yascha Mounk, Slate Magazine, 16 Mar. 2017 What if a roving band of mutant proletarians suddenly shows up at the front door? John Carl Baker, New Republic, 14 July 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'proletarian.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Latin proletarius, from proles progeny, from pro- forth + -oles (akin to alere to nourish) — more at old

First Known Use

circa 1657, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of proletarian was circa 1657

Dictionary Entries Near proletarian

Cite this Entry

“Proletarian.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/proletarian. Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

proletarian

noun
pro·​le·​tar·​i·​an ˌprō-lə-ˈter-ē-ən How to pronounce proletarian (audio)
: a member of the proletariat
proletarian adjective
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!