underclass

noun

un·​der·​class ˈən-dər-ˌklas How to pronounce underclass (audio)
: the lowest social stratum usually made up of disadvantaged minority groups

Examples of underclass in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Popular culture at the time, in movies such as Taxi Driver and Fort Apache, The Bronx depicted a dangerous urban landscape, with a menacing underclass, unemployed and threatening social stability. Michael Bernick, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2024 Others fall into a rut of muddling along, a permanent socio-economic underclass the existence of which should cause the rest of us to feel shame. Edward Lotterman, Twin Cities, 21 Jan. 2024 In Israel proper, Palestinians are a vast underclass, with higher rates of unemployment and a lower overall standard of living than Jewish Israelis. Tracy Wilkinson, Los Angeles Times, 9 Jan. 2024 The underdogs are also the underclass, eventually facing Ivy League schools in their Olympics-qualifying meets, and ultimately the elite athletes of Hitler’s Germany. Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter, 15 Dec. 2023 The key underclass contributors include sophomore Max Arnold and freshman Brayden Axline whose brother Bennett played on the 2021 team. Glae Thien, San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Nov. 2023 Before the concept of the viral underclass emerged, the underclass was already thought of as a contagion, one with a distinct geography. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, 6 Sep. 2022 Advocates of further restrictions on entry into the United States often cite concerns that immigrants might take jobs that would otherwise go to other Americans, strain public resources and create a permanent underclass of unassimilated families who never catch up. Michael Luca, Washington Post, 10 June 2022 Century Coach: Chris Mead 2022 postseason: 2A state runner-up Outlook: Dill is a big loss, but the Knights had a strong underclass group that was key to last year’s state runner-up finish and can lead the team to greater heights this year. Anthony Maluso, Baltimore Sun, 3 Sep. 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1918, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of underclass was in 1918

Dictionary Entries Near underclass

Cite this Entry

“Underclass.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underclass. Accessed 2 Mar. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on underclass

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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