- belonging or pertaining to the common people.
- of, relating to, or belonging to the ancient Roman plebs.
- common, commonplace, or vulgar: a plebeian joke.
- a member of the common people.
- a member of the ancient Roman plebs.
Origin of plebeian
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for plebeian
He's a plebeian from his thick shoe soles to his thin hair; but he's honest.The Bacillus of Beauty
Well; there is nothing like being a plebeian and a Prime Minister!Vivian Grey
Earl of Beaconsfield, Benjamin Disraeli
Just this: you'll have to fight; and if you were a 'Gemeiner'—a plebeian—you'd get off.A Day's Ride
Charles James Lever
I believe he was shocked by my plebeian abruptness but he was too polite to show it.The Arrow of Gold
He was a German plebeian, with no chance ever to improve his condition.The Blot on the Kaiser's 'Scutcheon
Newell Dwight Hillis
- of, relating to, or characteristic of the common people, esp those of Rome
- lacking refinement; vulgarplebeian tastes
- one of the common people, esp one of the Roman plebs
- a person who is coarse or lacking in discernment
Word Origin and History for plebeian
also plebian, "of or characteristic of the lower class," 1560s in a Roman historical sense, from Latin plebeius "belonging to the plebs," earlier plebes, "the populace, the common people" (as opposed to patricians, etc.), also "commonality; the mass, the multitude; the lower class," from PIE *ple- (see pleio-). In general (non-historical) use from 1580s.
"member of the lowest class," 1530s, from Latin plebius "person not of noble rank," from adjective meaning "of the common people" (see plebeian (adj.)).