Definition of bourgeois in US English:



  • 1Of or characteristic of the middle class, typically with reference to its perceived materialistic values or conventional attitudes.

    ‘a rich, bored, bourgeois family’
    ‘these views will shock the bourgeois critics’
    • ‘People in the privileged classes can sniff at bourgeois values and still turn out O.K. because they eventually grow up.’
    • ‘Divorces were concentrated among middle-class and bourgeois women living in the towns of northern France.’
    • ‘He analyzed bourgeois culture which conveniently precluded his being absorbed by it.’
    • ‘His work is critical of bourgeois values, particularly sexual repression, and exposes hypocrisy.’
    • ‘What is remembered is their immorality and their rejection of bourgeois values applied to family, society and the formal concept of beauty.’
    • ‘Bad memories resurface as each character's hidden resentment is revealed, from redundancy to marital rejection and disillusionment with bourgeois values.’
    • ‘The more the peasant exerted himself in response to the government's plea for more production, the more he prospered and developed bourgeois attitudes.’
    • ‘Rational recreation was best expressed in the suburban ideal of the bourgeois family home that had clearly emerged by 1850.’
    • ‘Illegitimacy, welfare dependency, and criminality were more prevalent than in the South, with its much stronger bourgeois values.’
    • ‘It thought it was so much better than its parents, those class-bound dinosaurs whose bourgeois values it thought it was systematically eliminating.’
    • ‘Hippies seem to come from largely bourgeois families.’
    • ‘They both were scions of bourgeois families, raised and living in a typical middle class milieu.’
    • ‘Sadly, this means that instead of remaining at the cutting edge of creativity, London designers are sometimes forced to take on bourgeois values.’
    • ‘There's a famous letter he wrote to his brother, denouncing him for not accepting the bourgeois values.’
    • ‘Could it be that in just two years the scourge of bourgeois values is now entering the American mainstream?’
    • ‘In fact, throughout the 19th century, the French state was a bourgeois state which echoed middle-class needs and values.’
    • ‘This was a prosperous time for Bavaria and there developed a flourishing art market, concentrating on conventional, unchallenging bourgeois genre pieces.’
    • ‘The Middle East became the lover she could not have and a refuge from the bourgeois England of her family.’
    • ‘The slate had to be cleaned of all bourgeois conventions, traditions and expectations.’
    • ‘The sensuality of the dance and the lyrics emphasizing lowlife values and language challenged bourgeois morality and dominant views on appropriate female behavior.’
    middle-class, property-owning, propertied, shopkeeping
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    1. 1.1 (in Marxist contexts) upholding the interests of capitalism; not communist.
      ‘bourgeois society took for granted the sanctity of property’
      • ‘It was only with the development of capitalism, the capitalist market and the bourgeois state that minority languages were actively repressed.’
      • ‘The social democrats gambled on bourgeois democracy and the stability of capitalism.’
      • ‘Pivotal to such a bourgeois conception of socialism, is the bourgeois assessment of capitalism.’
      • ‘At one point, Communists said that bourgeois democracy was a step forward from feudalism.’
      • ‘British capitalism is a bourgeois democracy, and both bits of that label are important.’
      capitalistic, materialistic, money-oriented, commercial
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  • A bourgeois person.

    ‘a self-confessed and proud bourgeois’
    • ‘Far from being typical of the Swiss bourgeois his enemies have described, his ideas were highly innovative and far ahead of his time.’
    • ‘The play fails as tragedy not because Willy is a struggling bourgeois rather than a man of stature, but because he lacks the element of choice. He is a victim, not an anti-hero.’
    • ‘My dreams differed from those of the common bourgeois.’
    • ‘All the same, many bourgeois wore thick shoes, carried umbrellas, and tried to look as much like their own concierges as they could.’
    • ‘At the end of 1968, a group of student rebels accused Li of being a ‘newly born bourgeois.’’
    • ‘The rise of relativism, and its inevitable corollary, nihilism, represents the triumph of the bourgeois.’
    • ‘Until the mid-seventeenth century, bourgeois and nobles in many regions used the local tongue among themselves, and even wrote literary works in them.’
    • ‘Do this at the Opera House and the bourgeois in the front row would be shifting uncomfortably in their seats I'll wager.’
    • ‘While nobles and bourgeois owned most of the land, peasants were left in control of it.’
    • ‘The typical bourgeois of the middle years of the century was too busy making money to be bothered with politics.’
    • ‘My first weekend off in a month, and I'm with Eton and the English bourgeois.’
    • ‘In a phrase, he did not want to be a Communist so much as he wanted not to be a bourgeois.’
    • ‘A State Council served as the consulting body, comprised mainly of Neapolitan nobles and bourgeois.’
    • ‘It's in your hands now, you hip intellectual bourgeois!’
    • ‘It attracted to its ranks many local bourgeois.’
    • ‘It was a philosophy for the public sphere as well as a statement of the contemporary bourgeois.’
    • ‘Just as nobles and bourgeois were defined by their lifestyle, so too were workers, with the common economic feature that they all worked with their hands.’
    • ‘Nobles and bourgeois depended on extra-economic coercion to appropriate this mass of resources controlled by common subjects.’
    • ‘In its completely developed form this family exists only among the bourgeois.’
    • ‘By 1931 the uneasiness had extended to many conservative bourgeois who viewed the radicalism of the new movement with apprehension.’
    member of the middle class, property owner
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Mid 16th century: from French, from late Latin burgus ‘castle’ (in medieval Latin ‘fortified town’), ultimately of Germanic origin and related to borough. Compare with burgess.