Definition of Luddite in English:



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

    • ‘Two centuries ago as industrialisation got underway, the former would have been Luddites, trashing factory machines; the latter the embryonic labour movement.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In the early 19th-century, a large number of English mechanics banded together to begin a group known as the Luddites.’
    • ‘Eventually the Luddite bands were tracked down and the reputed leaders executed or transported.’
    • ‘People should go after these awful voting machines like the Luddites went after automated weaving machines: with sledgehammers.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This became an organised uprising, known as the Luddite rebellion.’
    • ‘Byron's only speech to the House of Lords was a defence of the Luddite rebels.’
    • ‘The Luddites and other pockets of citizens took that path.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1derogatory A person opposed to increased industrialization or new technology.
      ‘a small-minded Luddite resisting progress’
      • ‘However, here in North Yorkshire do we apply the Luddite mentality and return to the pitchfork and scythe?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This Luddite, socialist Government is saying to people that they cannot undergo that procedure under its watch.’
      • ‘They are not Luddites or anti-developmentalist, and their sophisticated critiques rarely talk about monolithic neoliberal evils.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I accept the fact that the Australians have also had a somewhat Luddite approach to their regulatory regime in this particular instance.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We are seeing nothing more than a Luddite approach to dealing with some serious issues.’
      • ‘If the government does not introduce services such as this business will continue to inch along the Luddite road of dial-up networking.’
      • ‘They see barbaric, irrational isolationist Luddites bent on plunging an entire nation into darkness.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This is a good class; it's team taught by a humanities Luddite and a technology-worshipping engineer.’
      • ‘Those Luddites opposite want to ignore what is happening in reality.’
      • ‘These anti-sweatshop activists shouldn't simply be dismissed as Luddites.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘True believers dismiss this significant part of the population as Luddites.’


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