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From Latin plebeius, from plebs, plebis (the common people).



plebeian (comparative more plebeian, superlative most plebeian)

  1. Of or pertaining to the Roman plebs, or common people.
  2. Of or pertaining to the common people; vulgar; common.
    plebeian sports
    They were all from the ghetto, a plebeian throng.
    • 2016 September 8, Andrew Cunningham, “The $10,000 golden Apple Watch is no more”, in Arstechnica[1]:
      Completely absent was any mention of the Apple Watch Edition branding, which Apple used last year to launch a pair of $10,000-and-up Apple Watches that worked the same way as the cheap ones but were made out of actual gold instead of workaday, plebeian metals.


  • (of or pertaining to the common people): vulgar




plebeian (plural plebeians)

  1. One of the plebs, or common people of ancient Rome, in distinction from patrician.
  2. (archaic) One of the common people, or lower rank of men.
    • 1748. David Hume. Enquiries concerning the human understanding and concerning the principles of moral. London: Oxford University Press, 1973. § 3.
      The feelings of our heart, the agitation of our passions, the vehemence of our affections, dissipate all its conclusions, and reduce the profound philosopher to a mere plebeian.



Derived termsEdit


Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for plebeian in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)