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Bourgeoisie is a French word that was borrowed directly into English. In the French feudal order pre-revolution, "bourgeois" was a class of citizens who were wealthier members of the Third Estate.
Bourgeoisie is a social class characterized by their ownership of capital and their related culture. A member of the bourgeoisie is a bourgeois or capitalist. They are the capitalist class that came to be known as the middle class, between the aristocracy and the working class. A new middle class of merchants and businessmen prospered throughout Europe from the 16th century, and especially in Britain, which Napoleon described as a 'nation of shopkeepers'. The term 'bourgeois' is used derogatorily to describe anything considered unimaginative and/or selfishly materialistic.