Definition of Luddite in English:



  • 1A member of any of the bands of English workers who destroyed machinery, especially in cotton and woollen mills, which they believed was threatening their jobs (1811–16).

    • ‘People should go after these awful voting machines like the Luddites went after automated weaving machines: with sledgehammers.’
    • ‘Two centuries ago as industrialisation got underway, the former would have been Luddites, trashing factory machines; the latter the embryonic labour movement.’
    • ‘Eventually the Luddite bands were tracked down and the reputed leaders executed or transported.’
    • ‘Byron's only speech to the House of Lords was a defence of the Luddite rebels.’
    • ‘This became an organised uprising, known as the Luddite rebellion.’
    • ‘Perceval, the only British Prime Minister ever to be assassinated, was known for his repression of the Luddites, so maybe his descendant was following in his footsteps to some extent.’
    • ‘One of the points he touched on was how the design of mill buildings changed with the advent of the Luddites and machine-wreckers of the early nineteenth century.’
    • ‘Offshoring to cheaper labor locations is just a step short of automating jobs - and the responses from protectionists seem similar to those of Luddites from years past.’
    • ‘However, Greece's far left and far right are minority movements fighting a rearguard and futile battle, not unlike the Luddites who in centuries past quixotically battled industrialization.’
    • ‘In the early 19th-century, a large number of English mechanics banded together to begin a group known as the Luddites.’
    • ‘The Luddites and other pockets of citizens took that path.’
    • ‘The Luddites of the years 1811-16, though chiefly concerned with machine-breaking, were thought to have a political dimension, and required an army of spies, informers, and troops to contain and transport them.’
    • ‘The smashing of machinery, the so-called Luddite movement in which the struggles of the working class first were manifested, appeared initially in England in the 1770s.’
    • ‘Of course, the historical Luddites were neither childish nor naive.’
    • ‘To escape from this Luddite movement, three Nottingham craftsmen managed to smuggle their lace machines out of England and establish a machine-made lace trade in the northern port town of Calais, France.’
    • ‘Beginning with the Luddites, who smashed machinery in British textile mills in the 1810s, she traces literary, artistic and philosophical expressions of antitechnological thought up to the present.’
    1. 1.1derogatory A person opposed to increased industrialization or new technology.
      ‘a small-minded Luddite resisting progress’
      • ‘There have unquestionably been Luddites in the Navy's senior ranks throughout its history, but there is great cost and risk in abandoning major military systems that have proven their worth.’
      • ‘I accept the fact that the Australians have also had a somewhat Luddite approach to their regulatory regime in this particular instance.’
      • ‘We are seeing nothing more than a Luddite approach to dealing with some serious issues.’
      • ‘These anti-sweatshop activists shouldn't simply be dismissed as Luddites.’
      • ‘This Luddite, socialist Government is saying to people that they cannot undergo that procedure under its watch.’
      • ‘And then dropping off in percentages, we have the late adopters and finally the Luddites, who still don't even have a VHS video player.’
      • ‘They are not Luddites or anti-developmentalist, and their sophisticated critiques rarely talk about monolithic neoliberal evils.’
      • ‘This is a good class; it's team taught by a humanities Luddite and a technology-worshipping engineer.’
      • ‘Over time, however, the number of Luddites has shrunk.’
      • ‘Years of market reform in the 1980s and the 1990s have made this a very good-performing economy, but some Luddites in the House want to wind back that clock.’
      • ‘Car historians have been tempted to interpret resistance to automobilism as anti-modernist, reactionary struggles by marginalised Luddites, fighting for a lost cause.’
      • ‘Then there's the result of the French referendum on the European constitution, seen as thick-headed Luddites railing vainly against the modern world.’
      • ‘If the government does not introduce services such as this business will continue to inch along the Luddite road of dial-up networking.’
      • ‘However, here in North Yorkshire do we apply the Luddite mentality and return to the pitchfork and scythe?’
      • ‘They see barbaric, irrational isolationist Luddites bent on plunging an entire nation into darkness.’
      • ‘It is amusing - and sickening - that I have found myself accused of being a Luddite because I believe that an understanding of the power of delivery windows is critical to maximizing revenues.’
      • ‘After all of these years of friends teasing me for being a Luddite, it was heartening to discover that the machines were hated not only for the related job loses but also because they threatened a way of life.’
      • ‘True believers dismiss this significant part of the population as Luddites.’
      • ‘Those Luddites opposite want to ignore what is happening in reality.’
      • ‘When people raise concerns about the headlong advance of science and technology they are inevitably ridiculed as Luddites who are trying to interfere with progress.’


Perhaps named after Ned Lud, a participant in the destruction of machinery, + -ite.