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the unwashed masses
The broader general public, especially those of the lower and lower-middle classes. The film didn't cause too great a stir with the unwashed masses, but it has been considered a milestone in cinematic achievement among film critics. The world of the super-rich is one that we among the unwashed masses can't even begin to understand.
In one group or body; all together. For example, The activists marched en masse to the capitol. This French term, with exactly the same meaning, was adopted into English about 1800.
The body of common people, or people of low socioeconomic status, as in TV sitcoms are designed to appeal to the masses. This idiom is nearly always used in a snobbish context that puts down the taste, intelligence, or some other quality of the majority of people. W.S. Gilbert satirized this view in the peers' march in Iolanthe (1882), in which the lower-middle class and the masses are ordered to bow down before the peers. Prime Minister William Gladstone took a different view (Speech, 1886): "All the world over, I will back the masses against the [upper] classes." [First half of 1800s]
See also: masse
the opium of the peopleor
the opium of the masses
The opium of the people or the opium of the masses is something that makes a lot of people feel happy. He saw religion as the opium of the people. I see the reality show as the new opium of the masses. Note: This phrase was used by Karl Marx to describe religion.
the opium of the people (or masses)something regarded as inducing a false and unrealistic sense of contentment among people.
This idiom is a translation of the German phrase Opium des Volks, used by Karl Marx in 1844 in reference to religion.