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  1. a tenant farmer who pays as rent a share of the crop.

Origin of sharecropper

An Americanism dating back to 1910–15; share1 + cropper
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for sharecropper


  1. mainly US a farmer, esp a tenant farmer, who pays over a proportion of a crop or crops as rent
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for sharecropper


also share-cropper, 1887, in a U.S. Southern context; from share + agent noun from crop (v.). Share-crop system attested from 1871. As a verb, share-crop is recorded by 1867. Sharecropping attested by 1936.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper