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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ For although the great mass of its membership was working class, it also embraced an increasing section of the industrial bourgeoisie.
▪ Within the Alliance interests of local petit bourgeoisie and industrial bourgeoisie converged.
▪ Within the Alliance interests of local petit bourgeoisie and industrial bourgeoisie converged.
▪ They initially thought that competition from powerful foreign interests would encourage the national bourgeoisie to take an anti-imperialist stand.
▪ The Yugoslavs sought a close, opportunistic alliance with the national bourgeoisie of the colonial and semicolonial countries.
▪ What it would put a stop to is the reactionary policy of subordinating the revolutionary vanguard to the national bourgeoisie.
▪ Far more important, however, has been the merging of the new bourgeoisie with the traditional aristocracy.
▪ For it is as a member, and a recorder, of the new bourgeoisie that Boilly most deserves our attention.
▪ An alliance between workers, peasants and petty bourgeoisie necessitates a bureaucratic authoritarian regime. 2.
▪ I had better go now and pay my respects to the petty bourgeoisie.
▪ Apart from farmers, even the old petty bourgeoisie have grown or remained stable as a proportion of the labour force.
▪ A Marxist writer would probably identify this group as the first stirrings of a black petit bourgeoisie.
▪ Even though the real wages and living standards of the proletariat may rise, its members will become poorer in relation to the bourgeoisie.
▪ Secondly, the difference in wealth between the bourgeoisie and the proletariat will increase as the accumulation of capital proceeds.
▪ Similarly, the silk-wearing bourgeoisie of Granada contrasted with the poor, cotton-clad peasants from the mountains nearby.
▪ The bourgeoisie class own the means of production, the proletariat do not.
▪ The class enemy, the bourgeoisie and its allies, wielded a vast array of ideological weapons designed to mislead the proletariat.
▪ The task, in short, was to use bourgeois culture against the bourgeoisie.
▪ The Yugoslavs sought a close, opportunistic alliance with the national bourgeoisie of the colonial and semicolonial countries.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Bourgeoisie \Bour*geoi*sie"\, n. [F.] The French middle class, particularly such as are concerned in, or dependent on, trade.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1707, "body of freemen in a French town; the French middle class," from French bourgeois, from Old French burgeis, borjois (12c.) "town dweller" (as distinct from "peasant"), from borc "town, village," from Frankish *burg "city" (see borough). Communist use for "the capitalist class generally" attested from 1886.


n. 1 (cx historical English) A class of citizens who were wealthier members of the third estate. 2 (context Marxism English) The capitalist class.


n. the social class between the lower and upper classes [syn: middle class]


The bourgeoisie (Eng.: ; ) is a polysemous French term because it can mean:

  • a sociologically defined class, especially in contemporary times, referring to people with a certain cultural and financial capital belonging to the middle or upper stratum of the middle class: the upper (haute), middle (moyenne) and petty (petite) bourgeoisie (which are collectively designated "the Bourgeoisie"). An affluent and often opulent stratum of the middle class (capitalist class) who stood opposite the proletariat class;
  • a legally defined class of the Middle Ages to the end of the " Ancien Régime" (Old Regime) in France, that of inhabitants having the rights of citizenship and political rights in a city (comparable to the German term Bürgertum and Bürger);
  • and, originally and generally, "those who live in the borough", that is to say, the people of the city (including merchants and craftsmen), as opposed to those of rural areas; in this sense, the bourgeoisie began to grow in Europe from the 11th century and particularly during the Renaissance of the 12th century, with the first developments of rural exodus and urbanization.

The "bourgeoisie", in its original sense, is intimately linked to the existence of cities recognized as such by their urban charters (e.g. municipal charter, town privileges, German town law) so there was no bourgeoisie "outside the walls of the city" beyond which the people were " peasants" submitted to the stately courts and manorialism (except for the traveling " Fair bourgeoisie" living outside urban territories, who retained their city rights and domicile).

In Marxist philosophy the bourgeoisie is the social class that came to own the means of production during modern industrialization and whose societal concerns are the value of property and the preservation of capital, to ensure the perpetuation of their economic supremacy in society. Joseph Schumpeter saw the creation of new bourgeoisie as the driving force behind the capitalist engine, particularly entrepreneurs who took risks to bring innovation to industries and the economy through the process of creative destruction.

Usage examples of "bourgeoisie".

The bourgeoisie, which for decades had exalted and eulogized tyrannicide, now was filled with terrible rage.

So long as the bourgeoisie are the dominant class, literature must be bourgeois.

And apart from the class struggle in its ordinary sense there are deeper jealousies within the bourgeoisie than foreigners sometimes realize.

The Spanish bourgeoisie saw their chance of crushing the labour movement, and took it, aided by the Nazis and by the forces of reaction all over the world.

Although for the German bourgeoisie it was not the time to back the fascists, they supplied them with just enough funds to keep them in existence.

As a consequence the German bourgeoisie decided to put its full weight behind the fascist movement.

Capitalism in crisis, however, forces the bourgeoisie to drive down wages to below subsistence levels, to force the worker into a semi-slave existence.

Germany the proletariat had won big concessions from the bourgeoisie during the 1918 revolution.

Due to its intermediate social position and heterogeneous make-up, the middle class is incapable of playing an independent political role: it is forced to either support the bourgeoisie or the proletariat.

But the German bourgeoisie were able to make enormous profits from the inflation, while the mass of the population faced starvation and severe hardship.

He wrote repeatedly to Petrograd demanding a break with the bourgeoisie and the policy of defencism.

But in order to do this, it is first necessary to conquer the international bourgeoisie, to compel it to give us these tractors.

They placed sentinels to guard the Bank of France, where the bourgeoisie kept the stolen money.

It pleased him to set himself outside it, with his little vices and extravagances, as a queer fellow or a genius, but he never had his domicile in those provinces of life where the bourgeoisie had ceased to exist.

He who is developed far beyond the level possible to the bourgeois, he who knows the bliss of meditation no less than the gloomy joys of hatred and self-hatred, he who despises law, virtue and common sense, is nevertheless captive to the bourgeoisie and cannot escape it.