Definition of bourgeoisie in English:



usually the bourgeoisie
  • 1The middle class, typically with reference to its perceived materialistic values or conventional attitudes.

    • ‘Whilst the bourgeoisies of Europe are seeking to make the European Union a basis for resisting US power, geography and economics leave Canada's rulers with no alternative but to accommodate themselves to the demands of US imperialism.’
    • ‘Since the 1947 communal partition of the subcontinent, both of these bourgeoisies have made the conflict against the rival state central to their ruling ideologies.’
    • ‘This same fear has shaped the British bourgeoisie's attitude to the EU project.’
    • ‘The legacy of Stalinism has been to create massive confusion in the former-Soviet working class, which has enabled the national bourgeoisies to re-establish themselves on the same lines as in 1920.’
    • ‘But in doing so, he preserved the material power of the bourgeoisie, thus regenerating their political power.’
    • ‘The decline of bourgeois representation reflects international trends that have seen the disappearance of distinctive national and regional bourgeoisies.’
    • ‘The British, Irish and American bourgeoisies framed the Agreement in order to meet the demands of global finance capital.’
    • ‘In short, he shared the attitude of a large section of the German bourgeoisie.’
    • ‘But it is not so clear that this weakening of states increases the possibility of the political independence or autonomy of oppressed nations within them, because the bourgeoisies of the weakened nation-states in question fight back.’
    • ‘In fact, the remaking of the bourgeoisie was much more limited than the remaking of bourgeois values.’
    • ‘They did this by campaigning for Popular Alliances and Popular Fronts with the native bourgeoisies.’
    • ‘The rise of the bourgeoisie at the end of the eighteenth century created a demand for more pictures.’
    • ‘Scum they are, the hate-filled bourgeoisie of Middle-England.’
    • ‘Brazil's efforts are undermined by the extreme weakness of the other Latin American bourgeoisies.’
    • ‘Faced with the undermining of national power, the regional bourgeoisies seek their own deals with international corporations and financial bodies.’
    • ‘When the age of catacombs arrives, the word is not highly valued for the intellectual bourgeoisie.’
    • ‘The creation of these states with their rival bourgeoisies only served to divide the powerful working class of the sub-continent and subjugate them to the dictates of finance capital.’
    • ‘This does not mean, however, that the jockeying for advantage between these two bourgeoisies has ended, nor that the threat that their rivalry could spin out of control and into a conflagration has been lifted.’
    • ‘To offset these dangers, the UN brought together three basic forces - the imperialist powers, led by the US; the Stalinist bureaucracy in the USSR; and the national bourgeoisies in the colonial and economically backward countries.’
    • ‘The major European bourgeoisies had become imperial powers, brutally exploiting their colonial possessions and often suppressing basic democratic rights at home.’
    1. 1.1 (in Marxist contexts) the capitalist class who own most of society's wealth and means of production.
      • ‘That means that in capitalist economies the bourgeoisie will be the ruling class.’
      • ‘But this has been carried out exclusively in the interests of the bourgeoisie and at the expense of the working class.’
      • ‘Whatever the referendum result, the bourgeoisie will press ahead with its offensive against the working class.’
      • ‘If our side respects bourgeois democracy, the bourgeoisie will overturn it in defence of its own interests.’
      • ‘The working class cannot rely on the corrupt and reactionary bourgeoisie to defend democratic rights or oppose fascism.’


Early 18th century: French, from bourgeois.