plebs

[ 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.

Origin of plebs

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

Definition for plebs (2 of 2)

pleb

[ pleb ]
/ plɛb /

noun

a member of the plebs; a plebeian or commoner.

Origin of pleb

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

Examples from the Web for plebs

British Dictionary definitions for plebs (1 of 2)

plebs

/ (plɛbz) /

noun

(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

British Dictionary definitions for plebs (2 of 2)

pleb

/ (plɛb) /

noun

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

pleb


n.

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