un·​der·​class | \ ˈən-dər-ˌklas How to pronounce underclass (audio) \

Definition of underclass

: the lowest social stratum usually made up of disadvantaged minority groups

Examples of underclass in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Still, all who belong to this new underclass are in grave danger. Chuck Barney, Detroit Free Press, "TV highlights for the week of April 11-17," 10 Apr. 2021 The new trailer reveals that an underclass, known as the Touched who are primarily made up of women, had awoken from an unexplained event three years ago with supernatural powers. Althea Legaspi, Rolling Stone, "‘The Nevers’ Trailer: Supernatural Powers of the ‘Touched’ Emerge," 24 Mar. 2021 Rather than standing aside from history, Lee’s critics argued, the San had been manhandled by it, forced onto undesirable lands as an underclass. Daniel Immerwahr, The New Republic, "Paleo Con," 24 Mar. 2021 Unable to rely on the indomitable senior forward Brian Cook with time winding down and the game on the line, (Illinois) turned to its intriguing underclass. Matthew Glenesk, The Indianapolis Star, "There have been 97 NCAA tournament games in Indianapolis since 1940. We rank them all.," 13 Mar. 2021 Among the first of its type, Damiano Damiani’s A Bullet for the General mixes rousing action with a story of betrayal and political assassination that ends with an unambiguous call for the underclass to take up arms. Keith Phipps, Vulture, "The 50 Greatest Western Movies of All Time," 18 Jan. 2021 These families have been ostracized and deprived of basic rights, and their young generation now risks growing up as an underclass susceptible to recruitment into a new wave of extremism. Washington Post, "Iraq wants thousands displaced by the ISIS war to go home. They may be killed if they do.," 22 Dec. 2020 But China has an underclass of perhaps half a billion who are not content. WSJ, "How Perilous Is China’s Threat to the U.S.?," 14 Dec. 2020 As played by the terrific Tom Brooke, Fagan makes his way to the queen’s bedroom and awakens her for a chat about the plight of the underclass. Graham Hillard, Washington Examiner, "Queen and country," 10 Dec. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'underclass.' 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 underclass

1918, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for underclass

Time Traveler

The first known use of underclass was in 1918

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Statistics for underclass

Last Updated

23 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Underclass.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underclass. Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of underclass

: a social class made up of people who are very poor and have very little power or chance to improve their lives : the lowest social class

More from Merriam-Webster on underclass

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about underclass

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