: 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
: 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
: 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 Despite their mothers’ advice to the contrary, the plebes in the Grading The Week offices really do read your letters and emails. Sean Keeler, The Denver Post, 10 Feb. 2024 In the summer, incoming freshmen, or plebes, begin a rigorous training camp (known as Plebe Summer) that turns civilians into midshipmen. Kaitlyn Yarborough, Southern Living, 25 July 2023 Females now comprise 20 percent of plebes entering the Academy. Baltimore Sun, 12 May 2023 Tech billionaires might be trying to create a world where the plebes — with their pesky demands for secure working conditions and a living wage — will be replaced by indefatigable robots that don’t have to eat anything at all (let alone a tray of juicy steaks). Jennifer Szalai, New York Times, 15 Feb. 2023 The plebe was hardly the only one. Justin Fenton,, 13 Aug. 2021 Hodges would sit in the stands as a plebe in his first season at Annapolis, watching the football team and not missing the sport. Billy Witz, New York Times, 8 Jan. 2023 Navy is unbeaten in three games at West Point and won the previous encounter 13-0 in 1943, when the great Glenn Davis was a plebe at West Point. Mark Heim |, al, 12 Dec. 2020 During his 13 years with Cleveland EMS, Chuck earned his sergeant stripes and trained plebes how to be paramedics. Andrea Simakis, cleveland, 12 Jan. 2020

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'plebe.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1833, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of plebe was in 1833

Dictionary Entries Near plebe

Cite this Entry

“Plebe.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

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