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 For working class consumers like Kamle, the relentless rise in food prices has meant constantly having to make tough decisions. Aarefa Johari, Quartz India, "High food inflation in India is forcing families to choose between good meals and education," 14 Jan. 2020 Although his popular base was heavily ethnic, urban, and working class, his Cabinet and regulatory agencies were heavy with the pedigreed. Doug Henwood, Harper's magazine, "To Serve Is to Rule," 28 Oct. 2019 Past practices of an over-reliance on citations are costly, redirect vital resources away from significant crimes and disproportionately impact working class, juvenile, immigrant, and indigent populations. Phil Matier,, "What’s the answer to quality-of-life crimes in SF. DA candidates give answers," 27 Oct. 2019 These voters tend to be working class, female and northern. The Economist, "The Tories target health and crime in a political Queen’s Speech," 19 Oct. 2019 There is a strong case to be made that China’s bid to become the world’s factory, for example, has both harmed the American working class and received inadequate attention from U.S. policymakers. Samuel Hammond, National Review, "Elizabeth Warren’s Anti-Corporate Fixation," 26 Sep. 2019 Come election time, a majority of voters in this coastal working class town in the northeast of England would inevitably back the left-leaning Labour Party. NBC News, "In Brexit Britain, Labour Party risks losing its 'Red Wall' industrial heartlands," 6 Dec. 2019 The working class character, specifically written as Latina, holds her own against a clan of upper-crust frenemies., "'Knives Out’ certifies Ana de Armas as a star, just in time for 007 and Marilyn Monroe," 25 Nov. 2019 Small victories for the Brexit Party Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party has vowed to back the Conservatives, and unseat Labour rivals in traditionally working class seats. Natasha Frost, Quartz, "What else to watch for in the UK general election," 12 Dec. 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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Time Traveler for working-class

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The first known use of working-class was in 1757

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Cite this Entry

“Working-class.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on working-class

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with working-class

Spanish Central: Translation of working-class

Comments on working-class

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out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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