Bourgeoisie

(French). The merchants, manufacturers, and master-tradesmen considered as a class. Citoyen is a freeman, a citizen of the State; bourgeois, an individual of the Bourgeoisie class. Moliére has a comedy entitled Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme.

“The commons of England, the Tiers-Etat of France, the bourgeoisie of the Continent generally, are the descendants of this class [artisans] generally.” —Mill: Political Economy (Prelim, p. 12).

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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