hoi polloi


Also found in: Thesaurus, Acronyms, Wikipedia.

hoi pol·loi

 (hoi′ pə-loi′)
n.
The common people; the masses.

[Greek, the many : hoi, nominative pl. of ho, the; see so- in Indo-European roots + polloi, nominative pl. of polus, many; see pelə- in Indo-European roots.]
Usage Note: The phrase hoi polloi comes from Greek, where it means "the masses," and properly used, the English word means the same thing. In our 2002 survey, 95 percent of the Usage Panel approved of the example Stars who had arrived in stretch limos were elbow-to-elbow with the hoi polloi who had come on the subway. But many people use the word to refer to the upper crust of society—the exact opposite of its etymological meaning. The confusion may have arisen because of the similarity in sound of hoity toity, which means "pretentiously self-important, haughty." A small but significant portion of the Panel (28 percent) accepted this usage in the example The luxurious sets in the movie evoke the lifestyle of the hoi polloi in the early 20th century. This suggests that some people will allow either meaning of the word, perhaps out of sympathy for fellow speakers of English who did not study Greek. A second problem is related to the word hoi, which is the Greek definite article. Thus, for those who know their Greek, the expression the hoi polloi is a redundancy meaning "the the masses." Nonetheless, 78 percent of the Panel said that they used the with hoi polloi. The expression is an English one, after all.

hoi polloi

(ˌhɔɪ pəˈlɔɪ)
pl n
often derogatory the masses; common people
[Greek, literally: the many]

hoi pol•loi

(ˈhɔɪ pəˈlɔɪ)
n.
the common people; the masses (often preceded by the).
[1815–25; < Greek: the many]

Hoi Polloi

 the masses; the common people. See also commonalty.

hoi polloi

An ancient Greek term meaning the many, used to refer to the common people or masses.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.hoi polloi - the common people generallyhoi polloi - the common people generally; "separate the warriors from the mass"; "power to the people"
group, grouping - any number of entities (members) considered as a unit
laity, temporalty - in Christianity, members of a religious community that do not have the priestly responsibilities of ordained clergy
audience - the part of the general public interested in a source of information or entertainment; "every artist needs an audience"; "the broadcast reached an audience of millions"
followers, following - a group of followers or enthusiasts

hoi polloi

noun the common people, the masses, the (common) herd, the underclass, the populace, the proletariat, the lower orders, the rabble, the great unwashed (informal & derogatory), the plebs, the third estate, riffraff, the proles (derogatory slang, chiefly Brit.), canaille (French), commonalty Inflated costs are designed to keep the hoi polloi at bay.

hoi polloi

noun
The common people:
common (used in plural), commonality, commonalty, commoner (used in plural), crowd, mass (used in plural), mob, pleb (used in plural), plebeian (used in plural), populace, public, ruck, third estate.
Translations
lihtrahvaspööbel
plebs

hoi polloi

[ˌhɔɪpəˈlɔɪ] N the hoi polloi (hum, iro) → la plebe, el vulgo

hoi polloi

[ˌhɔɪpəˈlɔɪ] npl (= ordinary people) the hoi polloi → la plèbe

hoi polloi

n (pej)Volk nt, → Pöbel m, → Plebs m

hoi polloi

[ˌhɔɪpəˈlɔɪ] n (pej) the hoi polloila plebe
References in periodicals archive ?
Sandy Brour, a band from the south, performing at Hoi Polloi
While the nation's elites while away their day in the deluxe parlours of their posh mansions in gossiping and eating or in the basements of their palatial homes brimming with seductive sparkling stuffs, it is the hoi polloi who turn out in multitudes to imbibe the day's gaiety to the fill.
com)-- Does the idea of an empowered hoi polloi sound like a pipe dream?
In a sentence I never thought I'd write, Posh, 39, schlepped across London at 6am for a hardcore, full body workout with the hoi polloi.
The queen and her court relished this opportunity to romp in the opera's "Sherwood Forest" (Michel-Jean Sedaine fashioned his libretto after an English model) and to embrace the simple sentiments of the hoi polloi while congratulating themselves for their own noblesse oblige.
The Eye doubts that most politicians welcome such inconvenient impositions from the hoi polloi.
The slumming hoi polloi smile indulgently, cafe society laughs
Eliciting public sympathy and\or reinventing themselves - or just putting the media hound off the true scent - could also be a prevailing symptom of a condition that is, as Mrs Williams observes, rare among the hoi polloi.
Was standing with hoi polloi so repulsive one felt the need to buy a Gold Card?
Chinese and Indian contractors will begin building the complex next month but one essential element is already in place: a perimeter wall that will be patrolled by a squad of guards and equipped with CCTV to keep out hoi polloi.
The real challenge for the Chubster won't be rounding up the hoi polloi, however, it'll be avoiding mass desertion from the indolent middle-class mummies who make up his groupies.
It sounds like they would rather have 25 art connoisseurs through the door daily as opposed to 250 of the local hoi polloi.