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 What shell shock was to the soldiers returning from World War I, unemployment and economic insecurity were to the middle and working classes. Susanna Lee, The Conversation, "When confronting the coronavirus, tough isn’t enough," 1 Apr. 2020 Sheltering in place, a public-health necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic, is a luxury rarely afforded to the working classes. Stephania Taladrid, The New Yorker, "The Risks Undocumented Workers Are Facing During the COVID-19 Pandemic," 13 Apr. 2020 The disintegration of family life among the working classes was the greatest disaster to befall post-war America. Tanner Greer, National Review, "Learning the Wrong Lessons from Reform Conservatism," 17 Mar. 2020 Today as in 1918, these disadvantages often coincide, meaning that the poor, the working classes and those living in less developed countries tend to suffer worst in an epidemic. Laura Spinney, Time, "The World Changed Its Approach to Health After the 1918 Flu. Will It After The COVID-19 Outbreak?," 7 Mar. 2020 This is a multigenerational & multiracial coalition of working class people, anybody who wants to join the fight can. Brianna Provenzano,, "Why So Many Pete Buttigieg Supporters Are Suddenly Turning To Bernie Sanders," 2 Mar. 2020 Yet these lockdowns have placed the burden of the crisis on the middle class and working class – traditional pillars of support for autocratic regimes. Scott Peterson, The Christian Science Monitor, "Why coronavirus clampdown is proving risky for Arab regimes," 9 Apr. 2020 The steps of Harvard’s Widener Library might not be the obvious setting for a showdown between the working class and The Man., "The steps of Harvard’s Widener Library might not be the obvious setting for a showdown between the working class and The Man.," 8 Dec. 2019 This was a gift to tea party types and other conservatives whose goal was to shrink federal programs (typically, those that served the working class and the poor). Los Angeles Times, "Column: With the debt ceiling fight, Congress and Trump are playing with fire -- again," 16 July 2019

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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Cite this Entry

“Working-class.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2020.

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