plebe

noun \ ˈplēb \
Updated on: 26 Apr 2018

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
2 a : 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

Recent Examples of plebe from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of plebe

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


PLEBE Defined for English Language Learners

plebe

Definition of plebe for English Language Learners

  • : a student in the first year at a military or naval school


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