\ ˈplēb How to pronounce plebe (audio) \

Definition of plebe

1 : a freshman at a military or naval academy He also struggled to march in step and stumbled through … a morning ritual in which plebes are forced to stand at full attention and recite an endless stream of information …— Jonathan Mahler
2a : one of the common people : plebeian Once a proud and high-minded group, the new class could look up at the rich with a certain contempt and down at the plebes with compassion …— Barbara Ehrenreich
b : an ordinary person who lacks the knowledge of an insider These guys may look like plebes, but they're veteran hackers.— Davin Coburn The movie has its origins in Dave Stevens' 1982 graphic novel (comic book to us plebes), a knowing, exquisitely drawn valentine to aviation aces and 1930s Los Angeles.— Ty Burr

Examples of plebe in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web During his 13 years with Cleveland EMS, Chuck earned his sergeant stripes and trained plebes how to be paramedics. Andrea Simakis, cleveland, "Cleveland EMS workers suffer trauma, too — so why won’t city help its helpers?: Andrea Simakis," 12 Jan. 2020 McKerrow arrived at the nearby U.S. Naval Academy 15 minutes before sunrise on June 28, 2018, for one of his favorite assignments: snapping pictures of induction day for incoming plebes. Paul Moakley, Time, "One Year After Surviving a Mass Shooting, the Capital Gazette Journalists Refuse to Be Silenced," 8 Nov. 2019 At the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., Montgomery — who attended burn camps himself as a teen — gamely answered questions about the plebe experience. Justin Wm. Moyer, Washington Post, "‘I’m not alone’: Burn camp brings together children living with scars," 19 Sep. 2019 Indeed, there has been a George Kent sworn to defend the Constitution continuously for nearly 60 years, ever since my father reported to Annapolis for his plebe summer. Sanya Mansoor, Time, "Read George Kent and William Taylor's Full Opening Statements at the First Public Hearing in Trump’s Impeachment Inquiry," 13 Nov. 2019 On tournament trips, as kids raised hell in the corridors of the hotel, the hockey dads and moms gathered around him at the bar and pumped him for insights and anecdotes, a prince among the plebes. Nick Paumgarten, The New Yorker, "My Year of Concussions," 4 Nov. 2019 Between each event, the plebes are constantly running, doing pushups and hydrating. Jeff York, CNN, "14 hours of exhaustion: Inside the US Naval Academy's Sea Trials training exercise," 15 Oct. 2019 On the first day of football practice at Navy, a record 300 plebes show up for drills at Farragut Field in Annapolis. Mike Klingaman,, "This Week in Baltimore Sports History: Johnny Unitas leads Colts past College All-Stars," 11 Aug. 2019 In 1952, Hart was a plebe at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. Cheryl Hall, Dallas News, "Remembering Ross Perot: Mitch Hart says their first encounter was the most memorable," 12 July 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'plebe.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of plebe

1833, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for plebe

obsolete plebe common people, from French plèbe, from Latin plebs

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The first known use of plebe was in 1833

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Cite this Entry

“Plebe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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How to pronounce plebe (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of plebe

US, informal : a student in the first year at a military or naval school

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