pe·on (pēŏn′, pēən)
1. A person who does menial or repetitive tasks and has a low rank in an organization or society.
a. An unskilled laborer or farm worker of Latin America or the southwest United States.
b. Such a worker bound in servitude to a landlord creditor.
3. (also pyn) In India and other parts of South and Southeast Asia, a person of menial position, especially a messenger, servant, or foot soldier.
[Spanish peón, day laborer, from Medieval Latin pedō, pedōn-, foot soldier; see PIONEER. Sense 3, from Portuguese peão and French pion, foot soldier, both ultimately from Medieval Latin pedō.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
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