[ plebz ]
/ plɛbz /

noun (used with a plural verb)

(in ancient Rome) the common people, as contrasted with the patricians and later with the senatorial nobility or the equestrian order.
the common people; the populace.

Nearby words

  1. plebe,
  2. plebeian,
  3. plebeianly,
  4. plebeians,
  5. plebiscite,
  6. plecopteran,
  7. plectognath,
  8. plectron,
  9. plectrum,
  10. pled

Origin of plebs

First recorded in 1640–50, plebs is from the Latin word plēbs, plēbēs


[ pleb ]
/ plɛb /


a member of the plebs; a plebeian or commoner.

Origin of pleb

1850–55, Americanism; short for plebeian Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for plebs

British Dictionary definitions for plebs


/ (plɛbz) /


(functioning as plural) the common people; the masses
(functioning as singular or plural) common people of ancient RomeCompare patrician

Word Origin for plebs

C17: from Latin: the common people of ancient Rome


/ (plɛb) /


short for plebeian
British informal, often derogatory a common vulgar person
See also plebs

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 plebs



1856 as a colloquial shortening of plebeian in the ancient Roman sense. West Point sense attested by 1851 (see plebe).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper