[ pli-bee-uhn ]
/ plɪˈbi ən /


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.

Nearby words

  1. pleater,
  2. pleather,
  3. pleb,
  4. plebby,
  5. plebe,
  6. plebeianly,
  7. plebeians,
  8. plebiscite,
  9. plebs,
  10. plecopteran

Origin of plebeian

1525–35; < Latin plēbēi(us) of the plebs (plēbē(s) plebs + -ius adj. suffix) + -an

Related formsple·be·ian·ism, nounple·be·ian·ly, adverbple·be·ian·ness, nounun·ple·be·ian, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for plebeianism

British Dictionary definitions for plebeianism


/ (pləˈbiːən) /


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
Derived Formsplebeianism, noun

Word Origin for plebeian

C16: from Latin plēbēius belonging to the people, from plēbs the common people of ancient Rome

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for plebeianism
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper