\ 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

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 For a long time, sitting still and not moving was a sign of privilege, while breaking a sweat was for the plebes. Sarah Todd, Quartzy, "Why getting dewy skin became a global obsession," 24 July 2019 Students in their first year at the academy are known as plebes. USA TODAY, "Moon rocks, Misty of Chincoteague, Haiku Stairs: News from around our 50 states," 28 June 2019 One friend from his Naval Academy days recalls how John, while a lowly plebe, reacted to seeing an upperclassman verbally abuse a steward. Caroline Houck, Vox, "George W. Bush honors McCain as “unwavering, undimmed, unequal”," 1 Sep. 2018 So much more convenient than having to actually go to a gas station, like a plebe. Kaitlin Menza, House Beautiful, "Kim Kardashian And Kanye West’s New Miami Condo Refills Their Gas Tanks," 17 Jan. 2019 From troublemaking plebe, to presidential candidate. Caroline Houck, Vox, "George W. Bush honors McCain as “unwavering, undimmed, unequal”," 1 Sep. 2018 That’s going to make people like me, like the regular plebes who follow you, interested. Recode Staff, Recode, "Full transcript: Omar Raja of House of Highlights on Too Embarrassed to Ask," 18 July 2018 Last week's best photos gallery SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch in California, the royal wedding in Windsor, Naval Academy plebes climb the Herndon Monument, HouleDouse band performs on slack lines in China and more images from around the world. Washington Post, "Here are 11 of the week’s best photos," 2 June 2018

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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Statistics for plebe

Last Updated

12 Aug 2019

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The first known use of plebe was in 1833

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English Language Learners Definition of plebe

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

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with plebe

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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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