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 A century ago, a Czech playwright coined the word to refer to oppression of the working class. John M. Jordan/mit Press Reader, Popular Science, "The first ‘robots’ were made of flesh and bone," 26 Jan. 2021 There were plenty of other factors militating in his favor—a racist backlash to the first Black president, the abandonment of the working class by both parties, and on and on. Andrew Marantz, The New Yorker, "The Importance, and Incoherence, of Twitter’s Trump Ban," 15 Jan. 2021 And nothing would have more hard-dollar value than organizing the working class—all of it, Black, brown, and white. Thomas Geoghegan, The New Republic, "Labor Power Is the Key to Racial Equity," 24 Dec. 2020 Over 99% of people under age 60 (the healthy working class & kids in school) SURVIVE covid. Emma Colton, Washington Examiner, "'He does not care about small businesses': Bill Gates slammed for saying it's 'appropriate' restaurants close for months over COVID-19," 14 Dec. 2020 On top of all that, there is no love lost between the Chinese immigrants and the Irish working class, who are competing for the same backbreaking jobs in an increasingly tight economy. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "All-out war breaks out in San Francisco’s Chinatown in Warrior S2 finale," 4 Dec. 2020 The Cal State Fullerton Chicano studies professor has engaged in Facebook and email debates with students — overwhelmingly Latino and working class — who insist coronavirus isn’t a thing. Gustavo Arellano Columnist, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Don’t be a ‘pandejo.’ Take the pandemic seriously," 3 Dec. 2020 What’s more, there is evidence that the bulk of the violence is occurring in poorer working class neighborhoods, such as New Orleans East, that have been hit hardest by the pandemic’s economic downturn and the backlash to calls for police reform. Patrik Jonsson, The Christian Science Monitor, "2020’s murder increase is ‘unprecedented.’ But is it a blip?," 14 Dec. 2020 When the pandemic first took hold, some of the rich decamped to second homes in the country, and even many members of the white-collar working class could simply work from home and order food and other necessities in. Matt Simon, Wired, "Who Will We Be When This Is All Over?," 7 Dec. 2020

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 24 Feb. 2021.

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