Bourgeoisie (Eng.: ; ) is a word from the French language, used in the fields of political economy, political philosophy, sociology, and history, which originally denoted the wealthy stratum of the middle class that originated during the latter part of the Middle Ages (AD 500–1500). The utilization and specific application of the word is from the realm of the social sciences. In sociology and in political science, the noun "bourgeoisie" and the adjective "bourgeois" are terms that describe a historical range of socio-economic classes. As such, in the Western world, since the late 18th century, "the bourgeoisie" describes a social class "characterized by their ownership of capital, and their related culture"; hence, the personal terms "bourgeois" (masculine) and "bourgeoise" (feminine) culturally identify the man or woman who is a member of the wealthiest social class of a given society, and their materialistic worldview (Weltanschauung).