Definition of egalitarian in English:



  • Relating to or believing in the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities.

    ‘a fairer, more egalitarian society’
    • ‘This probably reflects a primitive form of egalitarian society.’
    • ‘In the past, the ruling elite has deliberately promoted the myth of an egalitarian society.’
    • ‘That is not the kind of egalitarian base on which Australians would want to see their taxation system working.’
    • ‘Membership was open to anyone, not because of egalitarian principles but through financial necessity.’
    • ‘He contrasts British and American practices, and shows that American law reflected the values of a more egalitarian society.’
    • ‘In Europe it was conceived as an authentically humane and egalitarian socialist society.’
    • ‘Other studies show a close relation between a more egalitarian social ethos and closer community relations.’
    • ‘They'll enjoy truly egalitarian marriages, sharing both the responsibility and the reward that comes with caring for others.’
    • ‘Would you say that your struggle is for an egalitarian society?’
    • ‘Sure, there were times when Australia was definitely a much more economically egalitarian society.’
    • ‘One of the distinctive qualities of Scots and Welsh politics has always been their egalitarian tradition.’
    • ‘But he tells us later that Scotland is no more egalitarian than large tracts of England and Wales.’
    • ‘To date, these welfare states have generated prosperous, relatively egalitarian societies.’
    • ‘The old egalitarian ideal of striving to improve equality of outcome seems to be entirely absent.’
    • ‘He bluntly declared that egalitarian notions must be abandoned.’
    • ‘I think the union movement has to come to terms with that and build a base to say that we want an egalitarian society again.’
    • ‘My aim, in this lecture, is to discuss this kind of egalitarian reasoning.’
    • ‘Burns was a great admirer of the egalitarian ethos behind the French Revolution.’
    • ‘A profoundly humanitarian and egalitarian person, identification with the oppressed was at the core of her being.’
    • ‘The egalitarian ideals of this communal society place loyalty to family and religion above all.’
    fair, just
    View synonyms


  • A person who advocates or supports egalitarian principles.

    • ‘I suspect that one reason coercive egalitarians feel that ‘the disadvantaged’ deserve government support is that the scheme demeans and exploits them, so that the assistance is a sort of compensation.’
    • ‘Again, the economics of redistribution is unimportant for many egalitarians.’
    • ‘The fact that egalitarian economic policies have no obvious correlation with per capita GDP within Europe or the Commonwealth makes a strong impression on egalitarians in those countries.’
    • ‘He further remarked that Americans were fierce egalitarians who, despite differences of income and status, refused to bow and scrape before anybody.’
    • ‘Plainly Australians have not been thorough egalitarians, but they have been egalitarians in their own way.’
    • ‘There is no arguing with a radical egalitarian on that point, so I won't.’
    • ‘This conservative reaction put latter-day egalitarians on the defensive, scrambling for some redefinition of purpose.’
    • ‘Pluralistic egalitarians do not have equality as their only goal; they also admit other values and principles - above all the principle of welfare, according to which it is better when people are doing better.’
    • ‘Yet, such a stance is exactly correct and it is shared, to some extent, almost by everybody, including the ardent egalitarians.’
    • ‘I'm quite the egalitarian when it comes to my fellow human beings.’
    • ‘Hence liberal egalitarians favour taxing free exchanges in order to compensate the naturally and socially disadvantaged.’
    • ‘The first is that he is a radical egalitarian.’
    • ‘To the extent that egalitarians are sincere and consistent in the embrace of their principles, this counts against the charge that their occurrent motivation is envy.’
    • ‘So there's a sinister cabal of egalitarians who have infiltrated the higher echelons of the Government, all wanting to give equality a go, but too scared to tell anyone.’
    • ‘This ideologically diverse group is made up of cultural pessimists, environmentalists, traditionalists, egalitarians, and technophobes.’
    • ‘Power is best thought of as running along a dimension that shapes all human interactions and social structures, with egalitarians at one end and dominators at the other.’
    • ‘Labour's long-term supporters, ethical socialists, public service workers, egalitarians and anti-monarchists, trade unionists and pacifists, were harder to deal with.’
    • ‘Given this shared commitment to material equality, do socialists and liberal egalitarians share the same account of justice?’
    • ‘It's about equality, egalitarians will be pleased to know.’
    • ‘If the norm of equality does not match our considered judgments after wide reflection, we should be content to be instrumental egalitarians if we are determined to be egalitarians at all.’


Late 19th century: from French égalitaire, from égal ‘equal’, from Latin aequalis (see equal).