from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- The third estate, or commonalty, in France, answering to the commons in Great Britain; -- so called in distinction from, and as inferior to, the nobles and clergy.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. See third estate, under estate.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
At the States-General in 1614, the tiers état had endeavoured to make the assembly commit itself to certain decidedly Gallican declarations, but the clergy, thanks to Cardinal Duperron, had succeeded in shelving the question; then Richelieu careful; not to embroil himself with the pope, had taken up the mitigated and very reserved form of Gallicanism represented by the theologian Duval.