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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).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Sociology) (esp in Marxist theory) the amorphous urban social group below the proletariat, consisting of criminals, tramps, etc
[German, literally: ragged proletariat]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


The lowest level of the proletariat, made up of criminals, vagrants, and the permanently unemployed.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
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determined and that class struggle is needed to create historical change and that capitalism will ultimately be superseded by communism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"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


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.
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
La paysannerie vit sous la menace de se voir depossedee de ses terres et se verra jetee dans les rangs du lumpenproletariat. Les artisans sont menaces en permanence par la concurrence des produits industriels.
Lumpenproletariat. And other adventures in vocabulary.
Salah Gosh's statements blaming the violence on Mossad-trained Darfuri rebels and criminal lumpenproletariat elements is an attempt to play this race and class card.
On the one hand, militant groups that continued to struggle with the goal of realizing a classless society--such as the LRBW, which organized Black industrial workers at the point of production, and the Black Panthers, which organized the lumpenproletariat (i.e., the criminalized, underemployed workers)--were systematically destroyed by an increasingly militarized police force.
After returning to Japan following a transformative meeting with Eugen Ehrlich in Switzerland in 1920, Suehiro led a drive among legal scholars and practitioners to apply pressure to the Japanese court system in an effort to domesticate the promises of Taisho Democracy by using case law to make judges more responsive to the suffering of the disenfranchised Japanese lumpenproletariat. The goal of this was to achieve apolitical equity--akin to earlier, native forms of equity that had prevailed in premodern Japan--for those in Japanese society otherwise disenfranchised by the rise of constitutionalism and Western-style party politics.
Suddenly the pundits were talking about yet another new political era, a realignment of traditional Republicans and conservatives with an emergent populistnationalist lumpenproletariat of less educated, lower income whites who had traditionally voted for Democrats.
Knight represented the lumpenproletariat who served time in prison, developed Black consciousness behind bars, and joined the Black Arts Movement and the Black Power Movement.
| WHO described the poorest of the poor as the 'lumpenproletariat'?
Arguing, for instance, that low-quality copies of films or artworks downloaded from the internet are today's digital lumpenproletariat (in an essay called "In Defense of the Poor Image"), she made an eloquent case for their potential to create "alternate audiovisual economies," recalling Dziga Vertov's utopian vision of film as the great socialist equalizer in Man with a Movie Camera (1929).
Fanon's significance to the present moment seems to me to hinge in large part on his identification of the lumpenproletariat as revolutionary subject, an identification that was anathema then (and largely remains so now) to traditional Marxism.
The latter one is the lumpenproletariat which is a class of the lowest social standing made up of ''declassed people, living unstable lives in penury and holding unspecified, odd jobs'' [7].