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From Late Middle English paissaunt, from Anglo-Norman paisant, from Middle French païsant (païsant), from Old French païsan (countryman, peasant), from païs (country), from Late Latin pāgēnsis (inhabitant of a district), from Latin pāgus (district) + Old French -enc (member of), from Frankish -inc, -ing "-ing". More at -ing. Doublet of paisano.


  • IPA(key): /ˈpɛzənt/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛzənt


peasant (plural peasants)

  1. A member of the lowly social class that toils on the land, constituted by small farmers and tenants, sharecroppers, farmhands and other laborers on the land where they form the main labor force in agriculture and horticulture.
    Synonyms: peon, serf
    • 1986, Kitchen, Martin, British Policy Towards the Soviet Union during the Second World War[1], Palgrave Macmillan, →ISBN, OCLC 12665660, OL 2543276M, page 137:
      The Ambassador warned him of the consequences if his mission to Moscow were a failure, both to Churchill's position at home and to Russia's prospects in the war. He insisted that he should not allow himself to be offended 'by a peasant who didn't know any better'. Churchill listened in silence, then returned to the dacha leaving Clark Kerr outside.
  2. A country person.
    Synonyms: churl, rustic, villager
  3. (derogatory) An uncouth, crude or ill-bred person.
    Synonyms: boor; see also Thesaurus:country bumpkin
  4. (strategy games) A worker unit.

Derived termsEdit


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.

Further readingEdit

  • "peasant" in Raymond Williams, Keywords (revised), 1983, Fontana Press, page 231.