Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of a group of British workers who between 1811 and 1816 rioted and destroyed laborsaving textile machinery in the belief that such machinery would diminish employment.
  • n. One who opposes technical or technological change.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any of a group of early 19th century English textile workers who destroyed machinery because it would harm their livelihood.
  • n. Someone who opposes technological change.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. One of a number of riotous persons in England, who for six years (1811-17) tried to prevent the use of labor-saving machinery by breaking it, burning factories, etc.; -- so called from Ned Lud, a half-witted man who some years previously had broken stocking frames.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A member of a conspiracy of workmen in England (1811–1816) banded together for the destruction of improved machines, under the delusion that these diminished employment: said to have called themselves Luddites from an imbecile named Ned Lud, who broke two stocking-frames from anger. The disturbances created by them were called Luddite riots, and required stern measures for their repression.
  • Of or pertaining to the Luddites: as, Luddite riots.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. one of the 19th century English workmen who destroyed laborsaving machinery that they thought would cause unemployment
  • n. any opponent of technological progress

Etymologies

After Ned Ludd, an English laborer who was supposed to have destroyed weaving machinery around 1779.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
After Ned Ludd, a legendary example. See -ite. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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