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 (lŭm′pən-prō′lĭ-târ′ē-ət, lo͝om′-)
1. The lowest stratum of the proletariat. Used originally in Marxist theory to describe those members of the proletariat, especially criminals, vagrants, and the unemployed, who lacked awareness of their collective interest as an oppressed class.
2. An underclass.

[German : Lumpen, pl. of Lump, ragamuffin (from Middle High German lumpe, rag) + Proletariat, proletariat (from French prolétariat; see proletariat).]


(Sociology) (esp in Marxist theory) the amorphous urban social group below the proletariat, consisting of criminals, tramps, etc
[German, literally: ragged proletariat]


(ˈlʌm pənˌproʊ lɪˈtɛər i ət, ˈlʊm-)

(esp. in Marxist theory) the lowest level of the proletariat comprising unskilled workers, vagrants, and criminals and characterized by a lack of class consciousness.
[1920–25; < German (Marx, 1850) =Lumpen rag or Lumpen-, comb. form of Lump ragamuffin + Proletariat proletariat]


The lowest level of the proletariat, made up of criminals, vagrants, and the permanently unemployed.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.lumpenproletariat - (Marxism) the unorganized lower levels of the proletariat who are not interested in revolutionary advancement
Marxism - the economic and political theories of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels that hold that human actions and institutions are economically determined and that class struggle is needed to create historical change and that capitalism will ultimately be superseded by communism
labor, labour, proletariat, working class - a social class comprising those who do manual labor or work for wages; "there is a shortage of skilled labor in this field"


A group of persons regarded as the lowest class:
dreg (often used in plural), rabble, ragtag and bobtail, riffraff, trash.
Slang: scum.
Idioms: scum of the earth, tag and rag, the great unwashed.
References in periodicals archive ?
It may find a fleeting resonance in the lumpen proletariat but is going to be a harder sell to those that have lived lives of entitlement.
El autor del articulo senala que el realismo o naturalismo se comprende en la literatura latinoamericana del siglo XX como denuncia de las condiciones del lumpen proletariat, el que luego se confunde con el indigena en las representaciones literarias del periodo.
No, it's not a lumpen proletariat. Lumpen are people who are cut off from society all together.
Hence, discussing the new emerging class on both sides of Atlantic, Daniel Henninger does not hesitate to consider them a retrograde force of 'lumpen proletariat', outcasts turned professional dissidents, a fake class of 'social scam'.
"Unemployment" imagined a future where the managerial middle class has devolved into a lumpen proletariat that supports itself by collecting trash.
"The Cuban regime--unlike Marx and Engels--did not write off the so-called lumpen proletariat as an inherently reactionary and anti-revolutionary force, but rather saw its revolutionary potential and tried to utilize it" (Lewis 1966: xlix-l).
STEVE SCHRAMMEL (MUSICIAN, LUMPEN PROLETARIAT): In the 1990s a line had been drawn in the sand when Green Day got popular, where you were either political and punk and wanted nothing to do with that, or you were a sellout.