Definition of underclass in English:



  • The lowest social stratum in a country or community, consisting of the poor and unemployed.

    ‘they are an underclass who lack any stake in popular capitalism and who are caught in the dependency culture’
    • ‘In one sense, campaigns often help foster a permanent underclass in politics.’
    • ‘This fiction is realistic, often portraying the lives of common people and the underclass in the face of adversity.’
    • ‘Even then, John was a seasoned veteran of local politics; for the last quarter century, he has championed the rights and the needs of the homeless and low-income tenants, the forgotten underclasses of a city that hates the poor.’
    • ‘There are two underclasses and both are causing problems in the city.’
    • ‘New levels were added to cover the underclass of people who have never worked and the long-term unemployed.’
    • ‘There is also the growing underclass of young unemployed people who have little prospect of moving upwards.’
    • ‘Yet, the nouveau riche are vastly outnumbered by a huge underclass of desperately poor people.’
    • ‘It will simply swell the criminal underclass that the government seeks to eradicate.’
    • ‘This has raised the spectre of an new underclass and highlights contentious issues of the class nature of the open-door policy in the country.’
    • ‘In previous history the middle classes have always kept one step a head of the hordes of working classes and its offshoots the underclass.’
    • ‘Should we be devoting more public resources to the young or the old, the business class or the underclass?’
    • ‘Mostly, it was the underclasses that disappeared - the poor, the despised religious or ethnic minority.’
    • ‘The two sections of society most damaged by the growing paralysis in social mobility are the lower middle class and the underclass at the bottom of the heap.’
    • ‘Instead of helping the underclass he is tarring the whole community with the same brush.’
    • ‘The servants in Middleton's play represent an underclass that lives and thrives by irony, especially the irony of noble birth.’
    • ‘They did not approach life from the perspective of the underclasses.’
    • ‘Still in my head and in my style of living I'm very much underclass, working class.’
    • ‘No city has succeeded when it has two spatially segregated underclasses.’
    • ‘Unfair price fixing and unilateral policies cause financial hardships for members of the underclasses wishing to consume the product.’
    • ‘In the cities, a disenfranchised underclass looked to the cinema to give them a voice.’
    rabble, scum, vermin, dregs, good-for-nothings, lowest of the low, underclass, the dregs, untouchables, the hoi polloi
    View synonyms