Definition of third estate in English:

third estate


  • 1[treated as singular or plural] The commons.

    • ‘The remainder of the population belonged to the third estate, whose social and economic status varied considerably.’
    • ‘Besides, petty judges and advocates were the only members of the third estate with wide experience of public life, and the confidence to speak out which it bred.’
    • ‘The forms of life assumed by the nobility were avidly imitated by those members of the third estate who could afford to do so.’
    • ‘The discourse about social level that is invoked here has little to do with the old diagram of the three orders of society: aristocracy, clergy, and third estate.’
    1. 1.1The French bourgeoisie and working class before the French Revolution.
      • ‘Only months before the storming of the Bastille, church and throne were still on magnificent display, not about to be toppled by a mere meeting of the Third Estate.’
      • ‘The barriers between the privileged sections of the Third Estate and the nobility were especially problematical.’
      • ‘June 17: The Third Estate declares itself the National Assembly’
      • ‘Representative provincial estates would give the Third Estate the political voice all enlightened Frenchmen believed it deserved.’
      • ‘Admission into the capitoulat was a momentous event for lawyers, procureurs and merchants of the Third Estate, for in addition to authority, the post also conferred nobility.’
      • ‘He was a supporter of the French Revolution from its beginnings, and in June 1789 he organized the 47 nobles who joined the Third Estate.’
      • ‘Beginning with the meetings held in the middle of February 1577 in Blois, he refused to compromise with the clergy and nobility who desired to review the Cahiers des États in order to render the Third Estate the minority.’
      • ‘Of course, the government had no means, in 1789, to destroy the Third Estate.’
      • ‘In June 1789, the representatives of the third estate declared themselves the National Assembly of France.’
      • ‘The King was looking for a way to engineer consensus, but the delegates of the Third Estate had other ideas.’
      • ‘From the initial meeting in May until the July seizure of the Bastille, the Third Estate, which metamorphosed into the National Assembly, sought to overcome the political advantages of the clergy and nobility.’
      • ‘And still, all major branches of the French government outside the Third Estate rejected these reforms.’
      • ‘The Estates General lasted only a little over a month before the leaders of the Third Estate (the bourgeoisie, artisans, and peasantry) transformed it into a National Assembly and took political power from the monarchy.’
      • ‘These women of the Third Estate, unlike the gentry occasionally portrayed in a domestic setting by Boucher and Fragonard, had few servants and large families.’
      • ‘After a six-week deadlock, the third estate proclaimed itself a National Assembly with sole power to legislate taxation.’
      • ‘Totaling approximately 25 million souls, the Third Estate was composed of the bourgeoisie, the peasantry and the urban artisans.’
      • ‘Seats went to archbishops and bishops of the province's twenty-three dioceses, owners of twenty-three baronies, and sixty-eight deputies of the Third Estate.’
      • ‘On June 17, 1789, the Third Estate began the French Revolution by declaring itself a National Assembly.’
      • ‘Studying the French Revolution at A-level one could be forgiven for thinking that it all came about because Louis XVI was a bit slow to catch on that the Third Estate was annoyed.’


third estate

/THərd əsˈtāt//esˈtāt/