[mid-l-klas, -klahs]
See more synonyms for middle-class on Thesaurus.com

Origin of middle-class

First recorded in 1890–95
Related formsmid·dle-class·ness, noun

middle class

  1. a class of people intermediate between the classes of higher and lower social rank or standing; the social, economic, cultural class, having approximately average status, income, education, tastes, and the like.
  2. the class traditionally intermediate between the aristocratic class and the laboring class.
  3. an intermediate class.

Origin of middle class

First recorded in 1760–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for middle-class

bourgeois, ordinary

Examples from the Web for middle-class

Contemporary Examples of middle-class

Historical Examples of middle-class

British Dictionary definitions for middle-class

middle class

  1. Also called: bourgeoisie a social stratum that is not clearly defined but is positioned between the lower and upper classes. It consists of businessmen, professional people, etc, along with their families, and is marked by bourgeois valuesCompare lower class, upper class, working class
adjective middle-class
  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of the middle class
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 middle-class

middle class


1766; as an adjective, "characteristic of the middle class" (depreciative) it dates from 1893.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

middle-class in Culture

middle class

A social and economic class composed of those more prosperous than the poor, or lower class, and less wealthy than the upper class. Middle class is sometimes loosely used to refer to the bourgeoisie. In the United States and other industrial countries, the term is often applied to white-collar, as opposed to blue-collar, workers.


Values commonly associated with the middle class include a desire for social respectability and material wealth and an emphasis on the family and education.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.