Definition of peasant in US English:

peasant

noun

  • 1A poor farmer of low social status who owns or rents a small piece of land for cultivation (chiefly in historical use or with reference to subsistence farming in poorer countries).

    • ‘The peasants and poor suffered an unbearable reduction in their standard of living during the war.’
    • ‘You know a lot of farmers and peasants cannot use a sword, but most of them are familiar with crossbows.’
    • ‘He has directed policies that have resulted in the driving of millions of poor peasants from their land.’
    • ‘It was also true that the country was still poor and that the life of a peasant was hard.’
    • ‘The chickpea was certainly used by the Romans, but regarded as a food for peasants and poor people.’
    • ‘The victims were from a group of poor peasants who had occupied a 49-acre plot of land.’
    • ‘Lula has also raised calls for radical land reform to assist peasants and the rural poor.’
    • ‘The black majority were reduced to impoverished peasants and landless labourers.’
    • ‘They were short of land, monopolized as it was by capitalist farmers and aged peasants.’
    • ‘It was no longer divided between the small élite of landowners and a mass of peasants and the poor.’
    • ‘They set out the next day and at evening approached a small hut from which a poor peasant emerged.’
    • ‘Some poorer peasants sold their land as soon as their ownership was confirmed, and then went to the towns in search of work.’
    • ‘In the countryside peasants began organising to seize land and to withhold rent.’
    • ‘When the workers, urban poor and peasants want things from such a bourgeoisie they have to fight for them.’
    • ‘A tan face signifies the status of a lowly peasant who has worked in the fields all her life.’
    • ‘Poor peasants can be easily persuaded to plant the crop - either by fists full of dollars or guns to the temple.’
    • ‘As a result, poor peasants might find themselves paying their dues to a wealthy peasant, and never see the lord at all.’
    • ‘The peasants have become poorer and the working class has been exploited to the point where the worker is almost a slave.’
    • ‘Labour tenants, intent on salvaging some of their status as peasants, were often reluctant workers.’
    • ‘Noble, bourgeois, and peasant alike associated status with exemption from public demands.’
    agricultural worker, small farmer, rustic, son of the soil, countryman, countrywoman, farmhand, swain, villein, serf
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    1. 1.1informal An ignorant, rude, or unsophisticated person; a person of low social status.
      lout, boor, oaf, clown, churl, yokel, bumpkin, country bumpkin, village idiot, provincial, barbarian
      View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English: from Old French paisent ‘country dweller’, from pais ‘country’, based on Latin pagus ‘country district’.

Pronunciation

peasant

/ˈpez(ə)nt//ˈpɛz(ə)nt/