underclass

[ uhn-der-klas, -klahs ]
/ ˈʌn dərˌklæs, -ˌklɑs /
|

noun

a social stratum consisting of impoverished persons with very low social status.

Nearby words

  1. undercarriage,
  2. undercart,
  3. undercast,
  4. undercellar,
  5. undercharge,
  6. underclassman,
  7. underclay,
  8. underclothes,
  9. underclothing,
  10. undercoat

Origin of underclass

First recorded in 1915–20; under- + class

Usage note


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for underclass


British Dictionary definitions for underclass

underclass

/ (ˈʌndəˌklɑːs) /

noun

a class beneath the usual social scale consisting of the most disadvantaged people, such as the unemployed in inner cities
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 underclass

underclass

n.

"subordinate social class," 1894, from under (adj.) + class (n.). A loan-translation of Swedish underklass.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper