Definition of petite bourgeoisie in English:

petite bourgeoisie

(also petit bourgeoisie)


  • [treated as singular or plural] The lower middle class.

    • ‘These forms of unearned income linked to exploitation led to the emergence of the haute bourgeoisie as a new ruling class, which molded the state and church into instruments of domination over the petit bourgeoisie and the working class.’
    • ‘In 1851 clerks only accounted for 1.2 per cent of all workers, but by 1911 they accounted for 4.6 per cent. Most of them came from the upper working classes and petite bourgeoisie.’
    • ‘Without offering any systematic discussion of who is in each class, Osgerby uses the typology of elites, petite bourgeoisie, working class, and lower classes, and at other times the term ‘middle classes’.’
    • ‘As the region embarked upon a post-Civil War economic boom, expanding opportunities also recast the Boyle family from members of the working class into the ranks of the petite bourgeoisie.’
    • ‘A party which can adopt the traditional Communist policies of economic centralisation; political control through Party infiltration at all levels; and an end to the dominance of the working class by the petit bourgeoisie.’


French, literally lesser citizenry.


petite bourgeoisie

/pəˌtēt bo͝orZHwäˈzē/