[loh-er-klas, -klahs]


of, relating to, or characteristic of the lower class: lower-class values.

Origin of lower-class

First recorded in 1890–95

lower class



a class of people below the middle class, having the lowest social rank or standing due to low income, lack of skills or education, and the like.
(broadly) working class.

Origin of lower class

First recorded in 1765–75
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for lower-class

Contemporary Examples of lower-class

  • But, Farrell found that almost all the women she spoke to were from lower-class farming families.

    The Daily Beast logo
    China’s Last Foot-Binding Survivors

    Nina Strochlic

    July 2, 2014

  • Behind her back they called Thatcher “Hilda”—her middle name—because of its lower-class origins.

  • In that relationship, the lower-class king of his dingy domain is enthroned atop a commode and uses a toilet brush as a scepter.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Amazing Cate

    Stanley Crouch

    December 18, 2009

Historical Examples of lower-class

  • Swallowed in the vortex of lower-class life of Paris—dead, probably.

    The White Lie

    William Le Queux

  • But it resembled some lower-class citizen's family carryall.

    Final Weapon

    Everett B. Cole

  • The photoplays have done something to reunite the lower-class families.

  • It is only the lower-class women who sleep on the house-tops.

    Rudyard Kipling

    John Palmer

  • Josephina is Finn and lower-class with a foreign look, and she is forty-five and looks sixty and is twelve years out of Finland.

    I, Mary MacLane

    Mary MacLane

British Dictionary definitions for lower-class

lower class


the social stratum having the lowest position in the social hierarchyCompare middle class, upper class, working class

adjective lower-class

of or relating to the lower class
inferior or vulgar
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