also proletariate, "the lowest and poorest class," 1853, from French prolétariat, from Latin proletarius (see proletarian). In political economics, "indigent wage-earners, , the class of wage-workers dependent on daily or casual employment" from 1856. The Englished form proletary was used 16c.-17c. in the older sense and revived in the modern sense by 1865. The Leninist phrase dictatorship of the proletariat is attested from 1918.