work·​ing-class | \ˈwər-kiŋ-ˈklas \

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

That figure was 72% in rural areas and 79% among the working class, IFOP said. Stacy Meichtry, WSJ, "‘Yellow Vest’ Protests Pit Rural France Against Macron," 26 Nov. 2018 And this is part of what makes the idea that Democrats must campaign as economic moderates in working class, pro-Trump districts so misguided. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "The Radical Proposal That Moderate Democrats Should Be Running On," 22 Mar. 2018 Shuffling working class people out of a community does not improve their quality of life. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook has a growing morale problem," 15 Nov. 2018 Undecided voters don't seem so likely to break big GOP — Nate Cohn (@Nate_Cohn) July 26, 2018 And remember, even in '16, the state-level polling error wasn't *that* big outside of predominantly white, working class states. Dylan Scott, Vox, "The good news for Democrats — and the important caveats — in the latest 2018 election polls.," 27 July 2018 Ocasio-Cortez is young, Hispanic, working class, female, and socialist. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is driving conservatives ’round the bend.," 6 July 2018 The deterioration of living standards: inadequate health care, housing, living wage jobs and environmental degradation for millions of working class people and families throughout the state. sacbee, "Antonia Hernandez," 27 June 2018 With environmental causes coded in these ways, down-playing or opposing them shored up electoral support among rural as well as many suburban whites, especially the working class. Christopher Sellers, Vox, "How Republicans came to embrace anti-environmentalism," 6 July 2018 The truth was that West Virginia was a cautionary tale for Democrats about working class and poor white voters that presaged the coming loss of the House of Representatives and wipeout in statehouses across the country. Chris Stirewalt, Fox News, "Dems didn't learn the lesson from West Virginia," 2 May 2018

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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to make faulty or ineffective

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