hoi polloi

The hoi polloi is a way of referring to common people, and it is an elitist term usually used by people who consider themselves to be above the masses.

Snobs rarely like the hoi polloi — that is, the masses, a.k.a. "the great unwashed." The term comes from the Greek for "the many." Perhaps because of the similar sounding term hoity-toity to mean someone with fancy airs the phrase is sometimes mistaken for its exact opposite — the elite or upper class. Don't be fooled.

Definitions of hoi polloi

n the common people generally

mass, masses, multitude, people, the great unwashed
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laity, temporalty
in Christianity, members of a religious community that do not have the priestly responsibilities of ordained clergy
the part of the general public interested in a source of information or entertainment
followers, following
a group of followers or enthusiasts
the audience reached by written communications (books or magazines or newspapers etc.)
TV audience, viewers, viewing audience
the audience reached by television
a group of followers hired to applaud at a performance
any loyal and steadfast following
the fans of a sport or famous person
Type of:
group, grouping
any number of entities (members) considered as a unit

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