designating or of persons or groups regarded as belonging to a low or contemptible segment of their class or kind because of their unproductiveness, shiftlessness, alienation, etc.
Origin of lumpenshortened ; from lumpenproletariat ; from Ger, lowest level of the proletariat: coined (1850) by Karl Marx ; from lumpen-, trashy (; from lump, scoundrel, ragamuffin, literally , rag ; from Middle High German lumpe: see limp) + proletariat, proletariat
such a person or group
- Of or relating to dispossessed, often displaced people who have been cut off from the socioeconomic class with which they would ordinarily be identified: lumpen intellectuals unable to find work in their fields.
- Of or relating to the lumpenproletariat.
- Vulgar or common; plebeian: “Popular novelists and their mass readership remain a despised lumpen minority” (Leslie Fiedler).
- (used with a pl. verb) The lumpenproletariat.
- (used with a sing. verb) A member of the lumpenproletariat.
Origin of lumpenFrom German Lumpenproletariat, the lowest section of the proletariat; see lumpenproletariat.
Having lumps or a lumpy appearance: “glancing with reluctant distaste at the shrouded, lumpen shape on the floor” (P.D. James).
Origin of lumpenlump1 + –en2.