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Definition of "plebeian" [ple•be•ian]

  • Of or relating to the common people of ancient Rome: a plebeian magistrate. (adjective)
  • Of, belonging to, or characteristic of commoners. (adjective)
  • Unrefined or coarse in nature or manner; common or vulgar: plebeian tastes. (adjective)
  • One of the common people of ancient Rome. (noun)
  • A member of the lower classes. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "plebeian" in a sentence
  • "The term plebeian is used in this study in the sense that it was defined by E.P. Thompson in his discussion of eighteenth-century English society."
  • "The trait in her to which he took most frequent and violent exception was what he called her plebeian caution; she seemed determined to pay due and conventional respect to appearances."
  • "Among the aristocracy and middle class, primogeniture and tail male were generally favored; but within plebeian or working-class communities, daughters frequently inherited on a relatively equitable basis with sons, sometimes with sole use provisions to prevent the property from falling into the hands of sons-in-law."