English edit

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Etymology edit

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

Pronunciation edit

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

Noun edit

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, Martin Kitchen, British Policy Towards the Soviet Union during the Second World War[1], Palgrave Macmillan, →ISBN, →OCLC, →OL, 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 terms edit

Translations edit

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Adjective edit

peasant (not comparable)

  1. (attributive) Characteristic of or relating to a peasant or peasants; unsophisticated.
    peasant class
    • 2007, Brad Bird, Ratatouille, spoken by Colette
      Ratatouille? It's a peasant dish. Are you sure you want to serve this to Ego?
  2. (obsolete, derogatory) Lowly, vulgar; reprehensible; dishonest.

Further reading edit

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

Anagrams edit