work·​ing-class | \ ˈwər-kiŋ-ˈklas How to pronounce working-class (audio) \

Definition of working-class

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of, relating to, deriving from, or suitable to the class of wage earners working-class virtues a working-class family

working class


Definition of working class (Entry 2 of 2)

: the class of people who work for wages usually at manual labor

Examples of working-class in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Published in the summer of 2016, it was pitched as a generous but unsentimental portrait of the disaffected White working class — though not one that drifted into potentially off-putting populist territory. Simon Van Zuylen-wood, Washington Post, 4 Jan. 2022 Some Republicans believe the 2020 results point the way toward even greater gains in Latino communities, especially among working-class voters, mirroring how their party has won over large parts of the white working class. David Lauter, Los Angeles Times, 17 Dec. 2021 Is this about the economic anxiety of the white working class? Jackson Mchenry, Vulture, 5 Nov. 2021 Exit polls suggest Clinton might have actually won the white working class in 1992 and 1996; Obama came to the White House in 2009 with a Senate majority that contained two Democratic senators from Arkansas. Osita Nwanevu, The New Republic, 28 Oct. 2021 Like clockwork, many people have been quick to assume that those involved in the attack were either rural white working class people, or antifascists pretending to be Trump supporters. Erin Corbett,, 8 Jan. 2021 Even if that working class has some millionaires, MLB’s work stoppage is just a microcosm of the larger socioeconomic landscape. Jules Posner, Forbes, 23 Dec. 2021 Conversely, the working class depends on wages and salaries staying above inflation, which is difficult to obtain in practice once an inflationary spiral takes hold. Fortune, 16 Nov. 2021 But the White working class may also want the guarantee of health care, lower drug prices and programs that help working moms, such as universal day care and prekindergarten. Washington Post, 12 Nov. 2021

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


1833, in the meaning defined above


1757, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of working-class was in 1757

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Dictionary Entries Near working-class

working circle


working class

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Cite this Entry

“Working-class.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Jan. 2022.

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