Tiers` é`tat" (?). [F.]
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.
⇒ The refusal of the clergy and nobility to give the tiers état a representation in the States-general proportioned to their actual numbers had an important influence in bringing on the French Revolution of 1789. Since that time the term has been purely historical.
© Webster 1913.