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Definition of "lumpenproletariat" [lump•en•pro•le•tar•i•at]

  • The lowest, most degraded stratum of the proletariat. Used originally in Marxist theory to describe those members of the proletariat, especially criminals, vagrants, and the unemployed, who lacked class consciousness. (noun)
  • The underclass of a human population. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "lumpenproletariat" in a sentence
  • "An older fellow-Communist at school patiently explained that the violent intimidation I had witnessed was a perfect example of "the dictatorship of the proletariat"; my friends on the receiving end being, as mere construction workers, the "lumpenproletariat"."
  • "The term '' 'lumpenproletariat' '' (trans. 'ragged proletariat' or 'lumpen masses') was introduced in '' The German Ideology '' by [[Karl Marx]] and [[Friedrich Engels]]"
  • "It incorporates Vichy France nostalgics, assorted anti-Semites, royalists, religious fundamentalists, pagan fascists and skinheads as well as the lumpenproletariat of alienated French."