Definition of middle class in US English:

middle class


  • treated as singular or plural The social group between the upper and working classes, including professional and business workers and their families.

    ‘the urbanization and expansion of the middle class’
    ‘commerce brought ever-increasing wealth to the middle classes’
    • ‘Distinctions can be drawn between the urban upper and urban middle classes.’
    • ‘The site is decidedly apolitical, and betrays no overt signs of the ongoing tension between the increasingly reformist, secular-leaning educated middle class, and the fundamentalist ruling elite.’
    • ‘They had been childhood sweethearts, both growing up in affluent middle class families in Lagos.’
    • ‘It wasn't just the working and middle classes she failed to charm.’
    • ‘The defeat of Austria by Prussia brought home to Napoleon the need to reconcile all classes, especially the educated middle classes, to the regime.’
    • ‘There was a rapidly growing urban middle class and signs of political openness from time to time.’
    • ‘In the eighteenth century the outlook of some groups in the upper and middle classes began to evolve in a new direction.’
    • ‘A great many collectors from the upper aristocracy or rich middle classes called on her skill.’
    • ‘The republic was built on the petty bourgeoisie and the middle classes.’
    • ‘In every single sphere of British influence, the upper echleons of power in 2013 are held overwhelmingly by the privately educated or the affluent middle class.’
    • ‘While a newly affluent middle class is growing, so are the ranks of the new poor.’
    • ‘Marriage in the Western sense was more likely to occur among the upper and middle classes.’
    • ‘Jobs are no longer guaranteed, even for the educated middle classes, and there is poverty right next to the opulent palaces of the rulers.’
    • ‘Inflation destabilized the middle classes, the only social group on whom the Liberals could rely for support.’
    • ‘There was no large and mobile urban middle class with time and money to spend communing with nature in the national parks.’
    • ‘The working classes and middle classes are now at the mercies of the regional land market.’
    • ‘The war is an issue that the educated middle classes feel very profoundly about.’
    • ‘However, I don't think that means only the middle classes are interested in social justice issues.’
    • ‘I want the working class and the middle class and the upper class, and in Britain I've got it.’
    • ‘There is less violence in the affluent middle class areas, where people are too busy getting on with their lives to re-fight old struggles.’


  • 1Relating to the middle class.

    ‘a middle-class suburb’
    • ‘Heck, we were just a pair of skinny, middle-class white guys from the suburbs.’
    • ‘They typically target middle-class areas, where they know the residents will be likely to have good credit ratings.’
    • ‘Support workers also note many of the children are from middle-class families rather than deprived areas of the country.’
    • ‘No middle-class parents I have ever met actually believe that their kid's school is one of the bad ones.’
    • ‘What you get is a huge subsidy for middle-class teenagers and a reduction in direct support for working-class ones.’
    • ‘Until the 1970s anti-growth thinking was generally the preserve of a middle-class elite.’
    • ‘The focus is on a middle-class family, which is striving hard for survival.’
    • ‘Some comprehensives, particularly those in middle-class suburbs, succeed.’
    • ‘And he found a sedate, respectable, middle-class partner from the suburbs of London.’
    • ‘A middle-class boy from the suburbs would have picked up a camera at art school, but Jobson took two decades to find his metier.’
    • ‘Surprisingly, many middle-class customers also enjoy buying from the street vendors.’
    • ‘They argue that these benefits can make the sums even more compelling, especially for middle-class families.’
    • ‘They lived in a narrow street in the city, in a middle-class neighbourhood.’
    • ‘Five miles south of the chaos of Cairo is a quiet middle-class suburb called Maadi.’
    • ‘Being middle-class implies having enough money to spend on things beyond the basic necessities.’
    • ‘Neighbours in the quiet, middle-class area expressed shock at what happened.’
    • ‘In some cities, new middle-class suburbs were linked to urban centers by large avenues.’
    • ‘It also shows that pupils from the lower end of the social scale are beginning to close the educational gap on middle-class pupils.’
    • ‘They start from a famous name or from the cushioning confidence-booster of a solid middle-class education.’
    1. 1.1 Characteristic of the middle class, especially in attaching importance to convention, security, and material comfort.
      ‘a rebellion against middle-class values’
      • ‘If you want to put it another way: middle-class prejudices against ordinary people.’
      • ‘There is this commonly shared middle-class fallacy that they have got the tradition.’
      • ‘Her passport out of middle-class conformity came through language.’
      • ‘Personally, I found this book's exclusively middle-class viewpoint annoyingly narrow.’
      • ‘Kate was middle-class and comfortable, and her father was a magazine editor.’
      • ‘It endorses mainstream and largely middle-class values and language.’
      • ‘It is less clear that Scotland is comfortable with becoming more middle-class.’
      middle-class, property-owning, propertied, shopkeeping
      View synonyms


middle class

/ˈˌmidl ˈklas//ˈˌmɪdl ˈklæs/