- a) Impoverished rural farm workers, either as serfs, small freeholders or hired hands.
1920 They distressed her. They were so stolid. She had always maintained that there is no American peasantry, and she sought now to defend her faith by seeing imagination and enterprise in the young Swedish farmers, and in a traveling man working over his order-blanks. But the older people, Yankees as well as Norwegians, Germans, Finns, Canucks, had settled into submission to poverty. They were peasants, she groaned. — Sinclair Lewis, Main Street", [ Chapter 3.]b) An ignorant person of the lowest social status; bumpkins, rustics.
1885 Such strange lingering echoes of the old demon worship might perhaps even now be caught by the diligent listener among the gray-haired peasantry; for the rude mind with difficulty associates the ideas of power and benignity. — George Eliot, Silas Marner, [ Chapter 1.]
Look at other dictionaries:
Peasantry — Peas ant*ry, n. 1. Peasants, collectively; the body of rustics. A bold peasantry. Goldsmith. [1913 Webster] 2. Rusticity; coarseness. [Obs.] p. Butler. [1913 Webster] … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
peasantry — [pez′ən trē] n. 1. peasants collectively 2. a peasant s rank or condition … English World dictionary
Peasantry — Karl Marx did not accord the same significance to the peasantry as he did to the proletariat. The former he saw as essentially a doomed class that would be swept aside by capitalism, while the proletariat represented the agent of revolution… … Historical dictionary of Marxism
peasantry — peasants, peasantry The word ‘peasant’ is a typical example of the confusion of the common use of a word with its sociological definition. Probably the common use, in this case, is more correct. People always know whether or not a person is a… … Dictionary of sociology
peasantry — [[t]pe̱z(ə)ntri[/t]] N SING COLL: also no det, usu the N You can refer to all the peasants in a particular country as the peasantry. The Russian peasantry stood on the brink of disappearance … English dictionary
peasantry — peas|ant|ry [ˈpezəntri] n the peasantry all the peasants of a country … Dictionary of contemporary English
peasantry — noun the peasantry all the peasants of a particular country … Longman dictionary of contemporary English
peasantry — peasant ► NOUN 1) a poor smallholder or agricultural labourer of low social status. 2) informal an ignorant, rude, or unsophisticated person. DERIVATIVES peasantry noun. ORIGIN Old French paisent, from pais country … English terms dictionary
peasantry — noun Date: circa 1553 1. peasants 2. the position, rank, or behavior of a peasant … New Collegiate Dictionary
peasantry — /pez euhn tree/, n. 1. peasants collectively. 2. the status or character of a peasant. [1545 55; PEASANT + RY] * * * … Universalium