Definition of proletarian in US English:

proletarian

adjective

  • Relating to the proletariat.

    ‘a proletarian ideology’
    • ‘Marxists believe that there are two great opposing camps that are battling it out on the world-historical stage, and that these are the capitalist and proletarian classes.’
    • ‘The theme of an economically divided America appeals not to the actual poor, but to wealthy, left-wing college graduates who like to strike proletarian poses.’
    • ‘The processes of economic imperialism, proletarian enslavement and continuous war are explained painlessly through Winston and Julia's private resistance.’
    • ‘As we have already demonstrated on the basis of the historical record, Cannon's struggle against Pabloism was the highpoint of his life as a Marxist revolutionary and proletarian internationalist.’
    • ‘Current pedagogy describes these traits under new terms that valorize them as usefully proletarian and subversive.’
    • ‘The narrow view of economic democracy articulated by the Movement meant that the organization of labour as proletarian labour throughout the economy remained intact.’
    • ‘My father was adamant that change could not come about without a violent revolution and a proletarian dictatorship.’
    • ‘The SEP advocates a proletarian internationalist solution to the war.’
    • ‘While appealing to intellectuals, it was distinctively proletarian in doctrine and temper.’
    • ‘It did not, however, represent either a new form of proletarian power or a viable strategy of socialist revolution.’
    • ‘If, in the long run, the beliefs expressed in proletarian dictatorship are destined to be accepted by the dominant forces of the community, the only meaning of free speech is that they should be given their chance and have their way.’
    • ‘Far from being utopian, the Marxist perspective of proletarian internationalism is based on the fact that capitalism has integrated the world economy into a mighty, interconnected whole.’
    • ‘Thus do the social conditions of proletarian existence in contemporary society, conditions first elucidated by Marxist theory, take vengeance by the fate they impose upon Marxist theory itself.’
    • ‘This did not simply mean the promotion of international proletarian solidarity.’
    • ‘In Eastern Europe, most of the new states of 1920 had fallen under Moscow-controlled communist regimes at least formally committed to the concept of proletarian internationalism.’
    • ‘The sit-in was therefore rife with just the sorts of contradictions which communists identified with proletarian womanhood, and women became obvious and crucial actors in its realization.’
    • ‘He joined the French Communist Party soon after his return (he had been sympathetic to it long before this) and favoured proletarian subjects that he hoped would be accessible to the working class.’
    • ‘The argument was that since the era had not changed there could not be any new ‘ism’, or overall development of proletarian ideology, after Leninism.’
    • ‘All of this vanished like mist before a strong wind when war broke out and all thoughts of international proletarian solidarity went out of the window.’
    • ‘Her writing explored folk models and, in particular, the short metrical rhymes of Mother Goose - poems of anonymous authorship, of proletarian origin, and of subtly subversive intent.’
    working-class, plebeian, cloth-cap, common, ordinary
    View synonyms

noun

  • A member of the proletariat.

    • ‘There was also the perennial problem of all concerted attempts to ‘elevate’ the workers' taste in popular art: like it or not, proletarians enjoy ‘bourgeois’ realism.’
    • ‘Moral economy historians tend to view capitalism as a system in which some exploit the labor of others: the key division in society is between property-owning capitalists and propertyless proletarians.’
    • ‘It's not special privileges for the proletarians and working classes, but more rights for workers and government employees, and equality between the different jobs.’
    • ‘In this country we prefer our proletarians to doff their caps rather than to assert their fundamental rights.’
    • ‘That was precisely what made them attractive to the intellectuals; and a kind of piety about truly authentic proletarians was to be found among Marxist intellectuals for generations.’
    • ‘The idea was that industrialized, mass-produced housing could shelter all those wretched proletarians consigned to rat-infested tenements.’
    • ‘The New Economy of globalised capital flows thus creates a new division of capitalists and proletarians - owners and workers.’
    • ‘For this the efforts of the proletarians of several advanced countries are necessary.’
    • ‘The organisation of the proletarians into a class, and consequently into a political party, is continually being upset again by competition between the workers themselves.’
    • ‘Now the peasantry is being transformed everywhere into proletarians and the middle classes in the advanced capitalist countries are likewise being turned into wage workers.’
    • ‘The result of these processes is that for the first time in human history the majority of the world's people are proletarians, having nothing to sell but their labour power.’
    • ‘Prisoners were therefore portrayed as perfect proletarians, actual builders of communism.’
    • ‘They are covering an insurrection of Parisian proletarians.’
    • ‘The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains.’
    • ‘This internal conflict amongst the proletarians in turn complicates the simplicity of Marx's call for a revolution that would necessarily unite laborers en masse against bourgeois capitalists.’
    • ‘This new élite was no longer composed of old revolutionaries of middle-class origin, but was drawn from the trained and educated offspring of peasants and proletarians who stood nearer to the masses.’
    • ‘Capitalists and proletarians struggle for ownership of the means of production and control over the state.’
    • ‘Formally educated white-collar proletarians commonly didn't consider themselves workers, even though they were selling their labour power to survive just the same as the dustman.’
    • ‘Clearly capitalist entrepreneurs need proletarians and vice versa.’
    • ‘We can be millionaires, seek to extend the reach of government into the personal lives of Americans and not even have to pretend to relate to the ordinary proletarians.’
    working-class person, worker, working person, plebeian, commoner, ordinary person, man in the street, person in the street, woman in the street
    View synonyms

Origin

Mid 17th century: from Latin proletarius (from proles ‘offspring’), denoting a person having no wealth in property, who only served the state by producing offspring, + -an.

Pronunciation

proletarian

/ˌproʊləˈtɛriən//ˌprōləˈterēən/