hoi polloi [hoi puh-loi] ExamplesWord Originplural noun
- the common people; the masses (often preceded by the).
Origin of hoi polloi 1815–25; Greek: the many Related Words for hoi polloi infrastructure, masses, multitude, proletariat, rabble, riffraff, commonality, vulgus Examples from the Web for hoi polloi Historical Examples of hoi polloi
No use letting the “hoi-polloi” get on to it that I was a greenhorn.
This was to be a plush project for big spenders, with Vegas and Reno reserved for the hoi-polloi.
As was well known, when Harris Collins performed he performed only for the élite, for the hoi-polloi of the trained-animal world.
British Dictionary definitions for hoi polloi hoi polloi pl n
- often derogatory the masses; common people
Word Origin for hoi polloi Greek, literally: the many Word Origin and History for hoi polloi
1837, from Greek hoi polloi (plural) “the people,” literally “the many” (plural of polys; see poly-). Used in Greek by Dryden (1668) and Byron (1822), in both cases preceded by the, even though Greek hoi means “the,” a mistake repeated often by subsequent writers, who at least have the excuse of ignorance of Greek.
hoi polloi in Culture hoi polloi [(hoy puh-loy)]
The masses, the ordinary folk; the phrase is often used in a derogatory way to refer to a popular preference or incorrect opinion: “The hoi polloi may think that Fitzgerald is a great director, but those who know about film realize that his work is commercial and derivative.” From Greek, meaning “the many.”