- (in Spanish America) a farm worker or unskilled laborer; day laborer.
- (formerly, especially in Mexico) a person held in servitude to work off debts or other obligations.
- any person of low social status, especially one who does work regarded as menial or unskilled; drudge.
Origin of peon1
- a messenger, attendant, or orderly.
- a foot soldier or police officer.
Origin of peon2
Examples from the Web for peon
The school is as free to the son of a peon as to him with the richest of parents.
This arrangement is all against the peon, and all in favor of the employer.
It is the cache of ammunition with which to save the peon and Indian slave,––you know that!The Treasure Trail
Marah Ellis Ryan
A peon was seen walking that morning on the verandah with a letter in his hand.The Shadow-Line
There I found a peon and two chaprassis, the three men I had met on the road.In the Forbidden Land
Arnold Henry Savage Landor
- a Spanish-American farm labourer or unskilled worker
- (formerly in Spanish America) a debtor compelled to work off his debts
- any very poor person
- a messenger or attendant, esp in an office
- a native policeman
- a foot soldier
Word Origin and History for peon
unskilled worker, 1826, from Mexican Spanish peon "agricultural laborer" (especially a debtor held in servitude by his creditor), from Spanish peon "day laborer," also "pedestrian," originally "foot soldier," from Medieval Latin pedonem "foot soldier" (see pawn (n.2)). The word entered British English earlier (c.1600) in the sense "native constable, soldier, or messenger in India," via Portuguese peao "pedestrian, foot soldier, day laborer."