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 Johnson belongs to a new and growing underclass who work inside some of the world's wealthiest companies. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "Race and class divide: Black and Hispanic service workers are tech's growing underclass," 11 July 2020 Such attitudes date back to the feudal era, with the Buraku underclass, and include more recently the offspring of marriages between Japanese and non-Japanese. Yuri Kageyama, The Christian Science Monitor, "From Tokyo to New Zealand, why Black lives matter," 14 June 2020 Ly sets his focus on the underclass in a Parisian suburb that reflects the city’s 21st-century cultural complexities, its citizenry a mélange of ethnicities and nationalities that represent France’s colonial history. Barbara Vandenburgh, azcentral, "Paris class, race tensions ignite in astute French film ‘Les Misérables’," 23 Jan. 2020 All seniors received their laptops to begin their schoolwork and instruction last week, while the remaining underclasses began receiving their laptops this week, Hinojosa said. Paul Wedding, Houston Chronicle, "Spring ISD trying to ensure 2020 class finishes strong despite pandemic," 10 Apr. 2020 The Lawrence North Wildcats defeat Northwestern to win 4A state title Indianapolis Star The Indiana Basketball Coaches Association has named its 2020 all-state teams, including a Supreme 15 among for seniors and one for underclass players. Scott Horner, Indianapolis Star, "IBCA names girls basketball 2020 all-state teams," 4 Mar. 2020 In the context of an epidemic, public health generally referred to a suite of measures designed to protect those elites from the contaminating influence of the diseased underclasses. Laura Spinney, Time, "The World Changed Its Approach to Health After the 1918 Flu. Will It After The COVID-19 Outbreak?," 7 Mar. 2020 The former laborers, clerical workers and others sleeping in cardboard boxes are a not-quite-invisible glimpse of a more pervasive but largely hidden underclass of poor in Japan, a wealthy nation seen as orderly and middle class. Washington Post, "Downtown Tokyo’s homeless fear removal ahead of Olympics," 23 Jan. 2020 Their songs take a stand for immigrants and the underclass, and against toxic masculinity. BostonGlobe.com, "And they just want you to love yourself.," 11 Oct. 2019

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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The first known use of underclass was in 1918

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Statistics for underclass

Last Updated

15 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Underclass.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/underclass. Accessed 4 Aug. 2020.

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How to pronounce underclass (audio)

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on underclass

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with underclass

Spanish Central: Translation of underclass

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about underclass

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