: the general populace
: the common people of ancient Rome

Examples of plebs in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Two millionaires stay millionaires by asking plebs to fund their children. Minyvonne Burke, NBC News, 27 Jan. 2024 The intention to illuminate the political machinations of the Capitol and the importance of the games in maintaining the divide between the ruling class and the powerless plebs yields little beyond turgid gloom. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Nov. 2023 Climate envoy John Kerry was successfully shamed into selling off his family’s Gulfstream GIV-SP last year and has reportedly switched to joining the plebs on commercial for most journeys. Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, 2 May 2023 The plebs were Rome's politicians, landowners and citizens. Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi, Discover Magazine, 9 Sep. 2022 Scholars, however, don't entirely agree on what benefits patricians had over the plebs. Emilie Le Beau Lucchesi, Discover Magazine, 9 Sep. 2022 His singing and theatrics and chariot racing offended their sense of decorum, while also garnering adoration of the plebs, threatening the precarious balance of power. Jonathon Keats, Forbes, 17 June 2021 The plebs’s relative impoverishment in the wake of this would help give rise to an array of demagogues—and eventually the collapse of the Roman republic. Win McCormack, The New Republic, 11 Feb. 2021 Political and economic elites fear nothing more than the plebs of the world uniting to challenge their rule, which is what sublime solidarity aims to do. Astra Taylor, The New Republic, 26 Aug. 2019

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

Word History



First Known Use

1591, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of plebs was in 1591

Dictionary Entries Near plebs

Cite this Entry

“Plebs.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/plebs. Accessed 22 Apr. 2024.

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